Dr Stephen Marsh-Smith OBE

Sunday 9th August, 2020

Yesterday came with the very sad news of the passing of Stephen Marsh-Smith, the founder of the Wye and Usk Foundation.

Stephen leaves a long-lasting legacy to the Foundation as well as to the rivers trust and environmental movement. In 1995 it was he along with other river Wye owners who came together to take on the problems facing the rivers and specifically, their Atlantic salmon, giving up a successful dentistry career in the process. It was his determination, ambition, innovation and relentless energy that was essential in Stephen, second from left, signing the agreement to buy off the estuary nets in 2000setting up our organisation and for driving improvements for rivers and fish. His ethos of getting things done will always be the basis of how the Wye & Usk Foundation operates.

In 2011 Stephen was awarded an OBE for services to the environment and conservation of the Wye and Usk. Five years later he stepped down as our Chief Executive to become the head of Afonydd Cymru, the umbrella organisation for Welsh rivers trusts. However, he still retained an important role as our Advisory Director, representing the Foundation at ministerial level and guiding our staff and trustees with his wealth of experience and expertise.

An avid salmon angler, Stephen lived life to the full. In his youth he was a member of the England international fly fishing team although he always gave the impression he would have much preferred to represent Wales.

His immense presence will be very much missed by all those who knew and worked with him. To many, it will be of no surprise to hear that up until a couple of days ago Stephen was still working from his hospital bed, designing fish passes and writing his monthly salmon fishing report. If any testament to his dedication to the rivers was needed, this was it.

Our thoughts are, of course, with his wife Seren, his son Edward and his daughters, Henrietta and Georgina.

Many of those who knew Stephen may want to commemorate him and his many achievements. To celebrate his enormous contribution to rivers and the environment, the Foundation’s trustees have set up a special page for those wishing to make donations in his name.

If you would like to help us continue Stephen’s work, then please make a donation to the fund in his memory.

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