Alex West was a social worker in adult mental health and a keen birdwatcher. He took a keen interest in the Reserve from its inception and spent many happy hours observing birds in the two hides.
He died in 2005, aged just 52. The last place he visited and bird-watched a few weeks before he died, was at the Clara Vale Nature Reserve’s second, ‘new’ bird hide. After his death, his wife Karen, his daughters, Lizzie and Amy, with friends, decided to run a ceilidh in his memory to raise money for Cancer Research and the Conservation Group.
It became a very successful annual event for a number of years (a reflection of Alex’s popularity and the great sense of loss people felt) which resulted in significant donations to the Group, helping enormously with the ongoing costs of managing the Reserve and bird seed for the feeding stations in the winter.
The Conservation Group is very appreciative of the West family support over the years and in recognition of this, the ‘new’ hide was renamed ‘The Alex West Hide’ in his memory.