Good people not forgotten

Stephen Owen, Penrith, Cumbria

Stephen died unexpectedly in April taking part in a Fell race. He joined us at Cumbria Wildlife Trust in 2016, as the Reserve and Training Officer at Eycott Hill Nature Reserve.

He had over 10 years’ experience working in conservation, previously working for the Scottish Wildlife Trust and RSPB following a succession of seasonal and volunteer posts for other organisations in Scotland and Spain. He loved making a difference to wild spaces; from habitat conservation and restoration to fencing improvements. When working with others he was able to inspire and enthuse them to care about the environment around them. In his work at Eycott he led work parties ranging from plug planting (heather and bilberry), to repairing fences and stone walling.

Stephen’s knowledge of conservation grew with every role he took on. He was an active, inspirational and committed conservationist.
His love of the outdoors was more than work; he enjoyed hill walking, running, wild camping, cycle touring and mountain biking and he was a popular member of Eden Runners club.

Most of all he was a valued colleague and friend. His loss is felt deeply across the organisation amongst the staff and volunteers who worked with Stephen. It has been a very sudden loss which will take time to come to terms with.
Our thoughts are with his partner, Katie, his parents, family and friends.

James Carr OBE of Warwick On Eden, Cumbria

James Carr died in May 2017. He was a dedicated supporter of conservation in Cumbria and Nationally, especially aquatic environments. James served on many committees where he always supported conservation and he also helped many other good causes. He was active in enhancing and conserving rivers especially the River Eden which was close to his home and his heart. One of his many projects included creating a wetland nature reserve on his own land near Warwick on Eden. James was a long standing member and supporter of Cumbria Wildlife Trust.

Trish Chadwick, South Walney

Trish loved south Walney Nature Reserve Trish Chadwick was employed by the Trust for many years from 1990 until 2012 at South Walney Nature Reserve. She was  completely devoted to South Walney and was passionate about protecting it, putting years of work into the  safeguarding of  the Walney gull colony. Trish even lived at the nature reserve, renting one of the cottages there right  up until the time of her  death. Trish sadly passed away last October after a short illness.


Margaret Gregory, Brampton

Margaret Gregory was a keen botanist and an active and dedicated member of the Flora of Cumbria Recording Group. She undertook many botanical surveys, including work over many years at RAF Spadeadam, which culminated in a published account of its flora. Margaret also took part in botanical surveys of roadside verges, and of churchyards as part of the Trust’s Wildlife in Sacred Places project.

In 1996 she was presented with a Badger’s Paw award in recognition of the contribution she made to the Trust’s work. She was a member and supporter for over 34 years and, at the age of 98, may even have been our oldest living member.

Frank Kirkby, Penrith

Badger_c_Jon Bowen  Frank Kirkby was a member of the Trust for over 34 years and was awarded a Badger’s Paw award in 2011 in  recognition of his outstanding contribution to the conservation of wildlife in Cumbria – in particular his longstanding  commitment to the conservation of badgers. He was a very active field naturalist and a well-respected expert on  mammals who worked tirelessly on the protection of badgers. Frank died in January of this year, aged 84.

Susan Cheesman, Carlisle

Susan volunteered at Gosling Sike Farm from the very first days that the Trust became involved in the site. She attended virtually all the work parties there with her husband Howard. They occasionally worked at other nature reserves but Gosling Sike Farm was her favoured location.

Susan participated in all aspects of the work there from surveying hedges and trees to building bridges across the sike, as well as fencing and hedge laying. Her kindness, generosity and sense of humour always shone through, even on the most grey and wet days.

Jean Parker of Low Row, Brampton

Crosswort and red clover image.  The flora of Cumbria was one of Jean's key interests.

Jean was a keen botanist and had been a member of the Trust for over 30 years. She was involved in the Wildlife in surveying roadside verges and was active in both the Flora of Cumbria Recording Group and the Wildlife in Sacred Places project.

In 2010 Jean received the Badger’s Paw award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the conservation of wildlife, in particular through her commitment to the North Cumbria Support Group and her tireless recording of flora in north east Cumbria. 

Constance (Connie) Kingston of Penrith

Connie became a member of the Trust in 1984 and she was active in the Penrith Local Support Group.  Anne Simpson, the group's treasurer said: "We first met Connie when we were delivering Trust magazines in the early 2000s and she took on the distribution of magazines in the area around Calthwaite by bicycle.  By that time she had retired from her work at Calthwaite Dairy Farm where she had been for many years."

Connie was originally from Tyneside and had always worked in rural areas. She had a lifelong interest in wildlife, particularly in plants.  

She was happy to share her knowledge with others, as Anne explained: "When the Trust started roadside verge surveys Connie joined us to survey a number of verges in the Greystoke and Lamonby area.  This continued for a number of years and we benefitted from her extensive knowledge of grasses, sedges and flowers.  Later we moved on to do other surveys for the Wildlife in Sacred Places project."

Photo: Connie dedicated much of her time to supporting the Trust and enjoyed getting involved in projects similar to this roadside verge survey at Alston in 2006.