University friends pay tribute to Northamptonshire teenager who died while on conservation expedition

Bryony Freestone tragically lost her life in a swimming accident off the coast of Thailand
Bryony Freestone tragically lost her life in a swimming accident off the coast of Thailand
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An empress tree is set to be planted today in memory of a teenage Northamptonshire girl who died while trying to save the ocean.

Nineteen-year-old Bryony Freestone, of Little Houghton, was on a conservation expedition in South East Asia over the summer, carrying out research on the effects of illegal trawling on seagrass when she tragically drowned.

The former Wollaston School pupil had been staying with Marine Conservation Cambodia, while on a summer enterprise as a University of Exeter student.

Today the university is holding a memorial to remember Bryony who had been the fundraising officer for the five-week expedition “FXCambodia”.

Exeter Students Union, FXU, has paid tribute to Bryony on Facebook: “Bryony was a much-loved member of our student community, and will be dearly missed by all.

"The memorial will be held in the Lower Stannary on Penryn Campus starting at 5pm, where people can speak, read poetry, sing, share a memory, or anything else they want to.

“After the speakers, there will be a short walk to the Italian Gardens where Bryony's Tree will be planted and all who wish to, can help plant it by adding a handful of soil. Bryony's sister has invited you to bring flowers, candles, and cards to lay down by the empress tree if you wish. The memorial will end in prayer followed by a minutes silence."

The teen, who had been living in Falmouth, Cornwall as a University of Exeter student, is believed to have gone out swimming while red warning flags had been placed on the beach, before getting into difficulty in the strong swell.