Steve Chastell

Steve Chastell

( 1964 – 2023)

We were shocked and saddened to learn of the death of Steve Chastell last week, at the age of only 59. Steve was our county bird recorder, former chair of Surrey Bird Club, and a well-known figure to many in the worlds of birding and nature, both in Surrey and beyond.

Steve was a dedicated local patch watcher, spending many hours in the field, usually on his bike. The Stoke area was his main focus, along with other sites in the Guildford area. He was also an experienced ringer, ringing with the group at Queen Mary Reservoir, as well as at Stoke and in his own garden. But his expertise was not restricted to birds; he was a dedicated moth trapper, and was excellent at finding and photographing scarce butterflies and odonata.

Steve was always willing to share his knowledge, and use his abilities to further the awareness and conservation of nature in the local area. As well as his work with SBC, he would provide ringing demonstrations; survey small mammals for Surrey Wildlife Trust; participate in bird surveys for BTO and the National Trust, and further afield, help to ring Goshawks in the Forest of Dean and lead whale-watching trips for ORCA in the Bay of Biscay. The hours he put in updating and maintaining the Surrey bird records database made a huge contribution to the work of producing the annual reports.

While quiet and happy in his own company, Steve seemed to know everyone and everything. He will be much missed by all at SBC. Our thoughts are with his wife Marie and his family and friends.