The farming community lost a great friend, farmer and SAC Consulting specialist with the sudden death of Gavin Elrick, near the end of 2020.

Born Robert Gavin Elrick in 1961 to Robin and Jean Elrick, he grew up in King Edward with his younger sister, Shona.

In 1985, he married Carol at Cullen Old Parish Church. Their daughter, Lauren, was born in 1993, followed by sons, Nathan, in 1995, and Ellis, in 1998. More important than anything to Gavin was his family and he cherished the time they all spent together.

After his parents retired in 1996, Gavin and Carol moved into the family farmhouse at the 120-acre Mains of Blackton to take over its running. Gavin never really wanted to be anywhere else.

He did, however, enjoy family holidays (which usually involved checking out the local agriculture and taking photos of old tractors).

Not only did he farm at Mains of Blackton, near King Edward, but he was a senior environmental consultant based in SAC Consulting’s Turriff office. He spent 36 years in the sector and was a most respected figure in his field.

Gavin had an abiding passion for farming issues and enjoyed sharing his knowledge with colleagues and farmers. He always had time for everyone, really listening with full attention, generous with his time and advice, and respected and depended on by all who knew him.

Earlier in his career, Gavin achieved an HND in Agriculture from the North of Scotland College of Agriculture (now part of Scotland’s Rural College) in 1982. After graduation, he worked on farms in New Zealand and toured Australia with friends.

On returning to the UK, he worked at Kerrowaird dairy farm, in Croy, before joining the North of Scotland College of Agriculture as a land drainage and soils technician in 1984. He taught HND and BSc Agricultural courses on the use of surveying techniques to design efficient land drainage.

In February, 1991, he was promoted to be a land survey consultant with the college. He was also part of the college’s 'Greens of Scotland' team which worked on golf course design in Majorca, Germany, England, and Scotland. He also visited Croatia, providing advice to its Ministry of Agriculture.

His drive and commitment to learning saw him achieve an honours degree in technology from the Open University, 1986-1994.

From April, 2000, Gavin became senior environmental consultant for SAC Consulting and in 2005 became a 'Chartered Environmentalist' and gained a postgraduate diploma in agribusiness management in 2006. He was also a member of the Institute of Agricultural Engineers.

From 2010, Gavin worked out of the Turriff office where his management and organisational skills came to the fore with the BASIS-introduced FACTS nutrient management planning course, organising two courses a year until 2018.

From his work on the Elgin flood alleviation scheme, to his role in the development of the AWPR, the dualling of the A96 and helping to design golf courses, Gavin helped to improve the lives of many people.

He was also a former chairman of King Edward Primary PTA and King Edward Hall Committee, a church elder, a Turriff Rotarian and a member of the Turriff Show committee.

Gavin really touched the lives of so many, in so many little (and not so little ways). He will be missed by all his colleagues and friends. For the family, however, their greatest achievement was having him in their lives, and he will be irreplaceable.