Pat Bishop obituary – The Guardian

My mother-in-law, Pat Bishop, who has died aged 92, was revered in Mallorca as a wildlife pioneer, and was the driving force behind the creation of a national park at Albufera in Alcúdia, on the north of the island.
The park was created as the result of a campaign that Pat led for many years to save almost 4,000 acres of threatened wetlands – and the birds and often rare flora and fauna that depended on them. More than anyone else she persuaded the Balearic government to recognise the threat to the environment at Albufera, bringing over international conservationists such as Max Nicholson to support her.
Pat was born in Scarborough, Yorkshire, the only child of Alfred Croft, an assistant postmaster, and his wife, Rebecca. After leaving school she married, in 1955, Eddie Watkinson, a motor dealer who had secured the first Honda franchise in Britain, and worked as his secretary for many years. Eddie was keen on motor sport and as a result Pat became the first female motocross judge in the country. The business prospered and the two of them moved to London.
In 1971 the couple retired to Mallorca, where Eddie wrote A Guide to Bird-watching in Mallorca. He was the representative on the island for the RSPB, a demanding role that Pat took over when he died in 1980.
In 1983 she married Dennis Bishop, a widower with two children, who owned a building firm in Hereford and kept a villa in Mallorca. He joined Pat in her campaign to save Albufera and they ran weekly meetings for bird lovers and other keen environmentalists.
Their efforts were crowned in 1988 when the creation of the Albufera national park was announced by the Balearic government. The Earthwatch NGO set up a programme to monitor data from the park and to train scientists from around the world to work there.
Dennis died in 1997, leaving funds for a laboratory and library at Albufera. When the Earthwatch programme ended in 1999, Pat paid the running costs until the Balearic government took the project over. She sought no public recognition for her work but received the Premi Alzina (Evergreen Oak award) from the island’s main conservation group.
In 2018 the Balearic government wanted to give Pat a special award to mark the 30th anniversary of the founding of the park. She was unable to receive it in person, having been forced by illness to return to Britain in 2015, and it was accepted on her behalf by her stepdaughter Claire, my wife, who was still living on the island.
Pat lived in Hereford for the rest of her life. She gave generously to the Hereford Cathedral Perpetual Trust and was one of the last great letter writers, sending out handwritten missives every week to her family and friends.
She is survived by her two stepdaughters, Claire and Sally, and five grandchildren.