A KEEN conservationist who volunteered across Dartford has died at the age of 69.

Jim Bateson, a member of the North West Kent Countryside Partnership (NWKCP) and Dartford Council’s countryside team, died on December 7 following a short illness.

Mr Bateson joined the NWKCP and the countryside team when he took early retirement in 1996.

He worked with conservation groups for more than 10-years and was involved in projects varying from the planting of trees to building and repairing fences.

Sites such as Dartford Heath, Darenth Valley, Brooklands Lakes and Joydens Wood were all maintained by Mr Bateston.

When Dartford Council took over the old Darenth Hospital site in 1997, Mr Bateson was involved from the beginning, working with the rangers to create the popular Darenth Country Park.