'A light has gone out in Yate' - tributes are paid to Lin Kendall

Gazette Series: Lin Kendall with her dog Harvey Lin Kendall with her dog Harvey

TRIBUTES have been paid to a woman who dedicated her life to saving Yate Common and ensuring its use for future generations.

Lin Kendall, a member and of the friends of the common for 25 years and chairman for many, died on Monday, February 24 from a brain haemorrhage. The 67-year-old had been out walking her dog on the common the morning before and only started complaining of a headache in the afternoon.

“It was a complete shock,” said her good friend and fellow member of the friends group Pat Cotterell. “Lin would walk her dog three times a day and if we did a litter pick that would be extra time at the common.

“It was her life. She wanted to keep it free for future generations, it wasn’t just now she was working for.”

Lin, of St Briavel’s Drive, moved to the area in 1964 when her first battle to improve the common began.

Speaking to the Gazette last year to celebrate 25 years since the common was saved from housing, she said: “The land always was a common but it wasn’t easy to get into. When we moved here in 1964 we had a dog and it was easier to carry on walking over the fields rather than go on the common.

“Then it was bought and proper gates were installed and it was the first place you could walk a dog and take a pram at the same time.”

In 1988, however, the real fight began when landowners Westerleigh Parish Council put the site up for sale. Lin helped to set up the Friends of Yate Common to save the 128-acre site from being sold for housing.

They succeeded as it was bought by Northavon District Council and safeguarded as a green space for public use and just this year, the common became a Queen Elizabeth 11 Jubilee Field protecting it from development.

But Lin didn’t stop there as she mounted a large-scale campaign against a travellers' site on the common, worked with the police over the use of mini motor vehicles and anti-social behaviour and photographed local wildlife to help protect rare species.

“She would have liked more money spent on the common,” added Pat, who was invited with Lin to attend at special garden party at Buckingham Palace in recognition of their tireless work. “The common is going to miss her and so is the friends group.”

A minute’s silence was held on the common on Saturday during Yate Town Council’s annual spring clean.

Yate mayor Cllr Wully Perks said Lin was a 'little lady with a huge heart'.

He added: "You couldn't fail to love her when you met her. A light has gone out in Yate.

"She had a massive heart for the countryside, for the community and for Yate.

"It is a great loss for Yate, she will be greatly missed."

Lin leaves behind her husband Den and their three children, Debra, Diane and Lee as well as seven grandchildren.

Her funeral takes place at Westerleigh Crematorium on Wednesday, March 12 (3pm). All are welcome, donations are welcome for Culverhill School and Yate's Green Travel community transport scheme.

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