Dr Robin Jenks – A COAST Stalwart

04/01/1944 – 10/11/23

Dr Robin Jenks, who sadly passed away on the 10th of November, will be greatly missed by his wife Catherine and sons Michael and Christopher, as well as many people on Arran.

After moving to the island with Catherine and baby Michael in 1994, Robin soon became embedded in the community way of life. Retiring from a long and rewarding teaching career, Robin temporality became a postie during his first summer, then took to being a tour guide at Brodick Castle and helping out a local furniture recycling scheme. His teaching background allowed him to cover classes at the local High School on occasion, as well as teaching English as a foreign language and helping some adult learners to read. A couple of years later Christopher entered the world, completing their family and graduating Robin to a House Dad.

At home, Robin established a vegetable garden which he spent the next nearly thirty years tending to lovingly, whilst being shadowed by his (at one point) seven cats. Always an animal lover, Robin kept bees, chickens and ducks and became chief dog walker to Michael’s much-loved Labrador, Brandy, who accompanied him and the boys on many adventures around the coastline and up into the hills of Arran.

Having sung in the parents/teachers choir previously, Robin was eventually persuaded to join the Arran Singers with Catherine, and enjoyed the camaraderie of the choir and the concerts they took part in. However, it was with the natural world where Robin’s true passions lay and, with that in mind, he became a volunteer with the Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST).

For over 11 years, Robin served on COAST’s Community Advisory Panel, volunteering considerable time to help improve the biodiversity of the waters around Arran. As one of COAST’s most committed volunteers he played an important role in the successful campaign for the South Arran Marine Protected Area which was legally designated in 2016. Following COAST’s move to the old Tennis Pavilion in Lamlash, Robin regularly worked front of house welcoming families and visitors to COAST’s Discovery Centre with a friendly smile.  

Jenny Crockett, COAST’s Outreach and Communications Manager, who worked closely with Robin for many years remembers him fondly: “Robin’s passing is a profound loss to COAST and all who knew him; his kind and gentle nature shone through with all he did for COAST – from his level-headed advisory position on the CAP and event help, to front of house at the Centre, to DIY and painting. I remember my interactions with him dearly – he was always smiling and ready to welcome people and share with them his passion for marine conservation.”

Andrew Binnie, former Director at COAST, said: “Robin was always so positive, and ready with a pertinent question that really made you consider things; he’ll be sorely missed by all of us. It was my pleasure to have his support and guidance during the MPA campaign; he was a true stalwart supporter, and his contribution and dedication to COAST up until the very end is extremely valued by us all.” 

Robin proudly shows off the Octopus mosaic he hand-crafted for COAST in support of the Marine Protected Area campaign. It is prouduly displayed at the Arran Outdoor Education Centre in Lamlash.
Robin spent much of his time volunteering with COAST focusing on the public engagement side of things – helping at events, running Front of House at the Discovery Centre. He also assisted with events like beach cleans, helping keep the local environment clean from debris.
Just a couple of months before Robin passed away, we successfully got him out on RV COAST Explorer for a wee trip around the North of the Island.