Lasting legacies will pay tribute to an “inspirational” Angus man following his sudden death.
Ralph Coutts, who was well-known across Tayside and Fife, was just 53-years old when he collapsed on the cycle path from Arbroath to East Haven earlier this month.
The Arbroath environmentalist was respected for his tireless work with groups such as Angus Clean Environments and St Vigeans Conservation Network.
Now Ralph’s Rovers, made up of Keptie Friends, St Vigeans Conservation Network and Our East Haven, are creating two lasting legacies in his name.
So far the group has raised £2600 for a Pictish Stone and an oak memorial bench at St Vigeans to be carved by Grant Adams.
A spokesman said: “We would now like to continue the work of Ralph, who founded St Vigeans Conservation Network because of his love for the Brothock Burn and the nature trail.
“The volunteer group he set up in April 2016 has to date removed a huge amount of discarded rubbish from the burn and around St Vigeans, stopping that litter from reaching the sea.
“We volunteers who worked along with Ralph to help bring these ideas to reality were inspired by his total enthusiasm and vision to see the area as it really should be, naturally beautiful.
“We learned much from him about species who make their home along the Brothock.”
Group member Morag Lindsay said volunteers were all utterly stunned by Ralph’s sudden death and felt strongly that there should be a permanent reminder of his inspiring work placed along the trail at St Vigeans.
She said: “Ralph put so much of his time into removing rubbish and making the burn safe for wildlife. The evening before he died he was clearing rubbish from it so it would look great in the morning.”
Funding to create a Pictish memorial – a twin for the 2020 stone – was secured within 24 hours and the group is planning to discuss the design with Ralph’s partner, Nicky.
Morag added: “It’s become clear though that Ralph had a large group of great friends and both his family and the caddies he worked with at St Andrews Old Course also contributed to the fundraising for the stone, as they too would like to see his enthusiastic environmental work recognised and honoured.”