Roger Deakin (1943-2006) went to Haberdashers' Aske's School in Hampstead, then Peterhouse, Cambridge, (1961-64) where he took an English BA under the supervision of Kingsley Amis. He then became an advertising copywriter, working for half-a-dozen of the major London agencies.
He married Jenny Hind in 1973 (dissolved 1982), their son Rufus was born in 1974.
In 1974 he moved to Suffolk, having rebuilt (himself) a ruined 16th Century timber-framed farmhouse, and began teaching English and Drama at Diss Grammar School, Norfolk (1974-78). He also began farming a 12-acre smallholding, chaired the newly-founded East Anglian Arts Trust and co-edited and contributed to the Waveney Clarion community newspaper.
During this period he was involved in the creation and promotion of open air community arts events on a medium to large scale and was a contributing editor of the Waveney Clarion (the longest running and largest-circulating of the community newspapers of the 1970s).
He left Diss Grammar School in 1978 to join the staff of Friends of the Earth (1978-82) planning campaigns, editing and co-writing publications, and managing press relations and media strategy. The first major campaign he was closely involved in planning from the beginning was the campaign to save whales. In 1980 he successfully campaigned to save Cowpasture Lane, part of an ancient Suffolk droving road, from destruction by agribusiness.
From 1982-1985 RD was a musical advisor to the Aldeburgh Foundation on folk music and jazz, and produced a series of concerts and broadcasts at Snape Maltings by Carole King, the Chieftains, Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Loudon Wainwright, Planxty, the Roche Sisters and others, as well as originating and commissioning After Smith's Hotel , a major Arts Council jazz commission, with Mike Westbrook, first performed at Snape Maltings by the Mike Westbrook Orchestra.
During this period (1983), RD also became a founder-director, with Angela King and Sue Clifford, of Common Ground, the arts/environmental charity. He helped create a distinctive house style for Common Ground.
His work as a writer/director/producer of film and television took on a special interest in arts, rural and environmental subjects.
He was a regular contributor to the Financial Times , The Independent , Guardian and BBC Wildlife . From 2001 he contributed to the writers' courses at Schumacher College near Dartington.
In 1999 RD's acclaimed book Waterlog: A Swimmer's Journey Through Britain , was published by Chatto & Windus. This was followed by Wildwood: A Journey Through Trees . The individual chapters of Wildwood were completed shortly before RD died in 2006. The book was then organised and lightly edited into its published form by Robert MacFarlane, Octavia Reeve, Simon Prosser, Alison Hastie and Terence Blacker. It was published in 2007 by Hamish Hamilton (an imprint of Penguin).
Notebooks which recorded RD's daily thoughts, feelings and observations around his home at Walnut Tree Farm, provided the source material for Notes From Walnut Tree Farm (Hamish Hamilton, 2008), edited by Alison Hastie and Terence Blacker.