BRIAN Kidd – president of Ventnor Botanic Garden Friends for 15 years and a horticultural expert and writer for several decades — has died at the age of 82.

Mr Kidd was a weekly gardening columnist on the Portsmouth News and its Weekend magazine for more than 40 years, and a panellist on BBC Radio Solent's gardening show.

His life's work started as an apprentice for Portsmouth City Council in the 1950s, but he went on to become the city's head of parks and gardens.

He designed and tended the city's green spaces over several decades and even had a road named after him — Brian Kidd Way, near Southsea Castle — where he had designed the gardens leading up to the heritage site.

He was also given the honour of being granted the freedom of Portsmouth, on his retirement in 2003.

He was president of Ventnor Botanic Gardens' Friends for the last 15 years and his son Chris, who followed his father into horticulture, is the curator there.

Mr Kidd and his wife of 59 years, Pam, moved to the Island from Portsmouth earlier this year.

Mrs Kidd's family, the Bulls, were an Island family.

Mr Kidd died in an Isle of Wight care home on November 29. He leaves his wife, son, and grandchildren Rebecca and David.

There will be a tribute to Mr Kidd on the Radio Solent gardening programme The Kitchen Garden with Rebecca Parker on Sunday at 2pm.

A funeral service for family only will be held on December 16.