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Adopt-a-gate tribute to Teesdale birdwatcher

MEMORIAL GATE: Mr Luckhurst’s widow June, with daughter Susan and grand daughter Phoebe at the new gate

A WELL-known Teesdale birdwatcher has been remembered with a new gate on the Pennine Way close to the spot where he died almost 20 years ago.
Dennis Luckhurst, a retired Glaxo engineer, collapsed and died while out birdwatching on Sleightholme Moor in 1997, aged 64. His widow June decided to remember him after signing up to a Donate-a-Gate scheme, which was set up as part of the Heart of Teesdale Landscape Partnership project.
“I heard about the scheme through the paper and decided to do it in memory of Dennis,” she said.
“He was well known for birdwatching. He helped Durham Bird Club with a book and took part in surveys of birds in Teesdale.
“I thought this would be a good way to remember him, especially as it is close to where he died and is on the Pennine Way, so it will be helping walkers.”
Mrs Luckhurst, from Ingleton, applied to the scheme via the Friends of the North Pennines, and in December last year she was contacted by Durham County Council officers saying a suitable site had been found.
Planning permission was sought to replace the old stile with a new gate and work was completed earlier this month.
“I am delighted with the way it has turned out,” added Mrs Luckhurst.
The gate has been fitted with a memorial plaque to Mr Luckhurst.
His widow went up to have a look at it with her daughter Susan and granddaughter Phoebe as soon as it was finished.
“It's just over the back from Tan Hill pub. It's an appropriate place because it is close to where Dennis died,” she said.


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