Richard Hugo Gaze

22 May 1940 – 28 January 2024

Richard grew up in Tadworth. His loving parents nurtured his love of wildlife, particularly botany. His father’s love of collecting antiquarian books on the subject an early  stimulus.

He studied Horticulture at Wye. After which he worked in the Pot Plant industry for the Danish firm, Den Gamle Have, running the British side of the business. During this time, in 1964, Richard and Penny were married in Wye Church. When Knud Jensen overextended himself financially, the whole business collapsed. While working for the Danish firm we lived first in Canterbury, then Lincolnshire.  Following this his life with the Agricultural Advisory Service began where he became The Pot Plant Specialist.  We were based in Tarleton, Lancashire where Will and Rupert were born. Eventually he transferred to mushrooms and became The National Mushroom Specialist, based in Littlehampton at The Glasshouse Crops Research Institute. When the team moved to Horticultural Research International, Wellesborne, Warwickshire, he moved with them to run the mushroom unit. He edited the journal for The Mushroom Growers Association for a period and co wrote “Mushroom Pest and Disease Control”.

One of his greatest pleasures was the care of his ancient piece of hazel coppice, Hoghurst Copse, part of The Mens Nature Reserve near Petworth, which latterly he gave to The Sussex Wildlife Trust. He also took to scything an area of Wisborough Green Churchyard, with its abundant orchids, cowslips and adders tongue ferns. His other enjoyment was to weekly assist Geoffrey Preston Jones with various maintenance jobs in the churchyard. Richard acted as Geoffrey’s “boy” as he was the one with the power tools and was ten years younger.

Meanwhile Richard had created a beautiful garden in Wisborough Green which Penny is trying to look after.

Richard bore the difficulties of Parkinson’s disease with overwhelming patience and sweetness. He will be sorely missed by Penny, Will, Claire, Rupert, Claire, Dem and all those who knew and loved him.

Penny Gaze