Dear <<First Name>>,
The sad death of Professor Basil Crowley after a long illness represents a real loss not just to his family and friends but also to the people of Abingdon and Radley; his formidable intellect coupled with a great commitment to public service and a steely determination meant that his activities had repercussions far beyond his immediate circle of acquaintances.

The many people who enjoy the beautiful scenery at Thrupp and Bullfield lakes have good cause to be grateful to Basil. It could all have been so different there! When these beautiful lakes were threatened with being filled with power station ash, local people formed a campaign group called Save Radley Lakes (SRL) to fight this. Basil chaired the group throughout the campaign and played a large part in its eventual success. In 2008, npower gave Thrupp Lake to the community for nature conservation using a partnership management scheme. It is currently managed by Earth Trust.

Basil’s scientific background made him ideally suited to deal with the complex technical and scientific issues that arose during the campaign. His amazing capacity to absorb information on seemingly any discipline you liked to throw at him meant that he played a major part in producing the many SRL reports written during the campaign, working closely with other SRL scientists on topics as varied as ecology, waste ash disposal and flooding. The professionalism of these reports was a major factor in making SRL a formidable and respected adversary in the battle to protect the Lakes.

Basil was no part time chairman and no effort to further the campaign seemed to be too much. For the whole three years of the campaign, holidays and weekends away for Basil and Lynda just didn’t happen. He attended SRL events, prepared many of the press releases, wrote official SRL letters and planning objections and letters to the press, lobbied politicians, helped find a solution to the ash disposal problem and lobbied the Environment Agency to bring about changes in the way spent fuel ash was treated. For years he totally devoted his life to the cause of saving Thrupp and Bullfield Lakes .

As a keen photographer, Basil delighted in photographing the Lakes and the local wildlife and spent many happy hours wandering around the Lakes with Lynda, cameras in hand. Lots of his excellent photographs were used in SRL brochures, press releases and on the Radley Village website. The SRL campaign sparked his interest in wildlife conservation and, after much time spent with other naturalists searching the area for rare species, he decided to set about producing an inventory of Radley’s wildlife using his own and donated photographs as illustration. This inventory aimed to provide a baseline against which to monitor future changes in biodiversity and can be found on the Radley Village website.


His commitment to public service was impressive. He spent many years on Radley Parish Council where, once again, his great intelligence and focus were a major asset. His position on the Parish Council during the years of the campaign made it easier for the Parish Council and SRL to present a united front in the battle to save the Lakes. Basil was recently given a well deserved award from the High Sheriff of Oxfordshire at a reception at Christ Church, Oxford University in recognition of his exceptional services to the community.

Basil will be sorely missed by his family, friends and the local community. It is also true to say that he has left the world a better place for his stay in it and that Thrupp and Bullfield Lakes will provide him with a lasting memorial for generations to come.

Thank you Basil!

Header: Basil on his wedding day.
Follow on Twitter
Become a Fan
Visit our Website
Copyright © 2016 Friends of Radley Lakes, All rights reserved.