You may by now have heard the extremely sad news that our colleague and friend, Dr Kate Fielden, died on 21st July in hospital in Oxford after a short illness.
She was present at the Avebury Steering Committee meeting just a week earlier, making her usual pithily constructive contributions to discussion of the papers – as carefully read and annotated as we had come to expect from her.
Kate was involved in the Stonehenge, Avebury & Associated Sites World Heritage Site before its inscription by UNESCO in 1986. She actively engaged in the many consultations over the original management plans for both Avebury and Stonehenge and played an instrumental role in the development of our current management plan in 2014-15. Vehemently opposed to the A303 development proposals for a tunnel through the WHS, she became a leading light in the Stonehenge Alliance campaign.
She was kept exceptionally busy with many commitments competing for time in her packed diary. Somehow, Kate always found the time to offer assistance to new staff at the WHS Coordination Unit & even over the past few months she made detailed & important contributions to the recent Periodic Review for UNESCO.
We will remember Kate as a relentless and unswerving campaigner: Avebury in Danger, Save our Sites, the Avebury Society, the Stonehenge Alliance, CPRE the Countryside Charity, the WHS Partnership, and others. Her activism animated, galvanised and guided numerous initiatives.
Kate was routinely known as the one person who would recall and almost certainly have a copy of, that obscure paper without reference to which an otherwise decisive argument would be fatally flawed.
The thread that connected the diversity of her work was her resolute and determined commitment to the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site. Her self-effacing, unfailingly polite demeanour belied the great depth of her knowledge & tireless endeavours in its best interests.
We will hugely miss her presence at our meetings: not only the contribution she made to them but also, most importantly, her friendship.
Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this saddest of times.
Written jointly by several members of the Stonehenge & Avebury WHS Partnership