Good people not forgotten

Christine Isherwood, Broughton -in-Furness

Christine Isherwood drawing with RowanChristine loved natural history and botany, especially identifying wild flowers. She was an active volunteer for the Trust and contributed to our publications for over 10 years. Before this magazine was digitally published Christine would be sent the text and she would do illustrations for the articles. Trust Director Peter Bullard remembers: “To meet the deadline she often stayed up all night and would then drive to Ambleside to deliver them to us.” She was entirely self-taught and also took great pleasure in teaching art classes. Although she felt she didn’t really teach anything, her husband Mike said: “She was a wonderful teacher, never overtly critical, always helpful, never imposing her own style.”

Christine was an enthusiastic walker and hill climber. Once she realised she had climbed nearly a third of the Munros she thought perhaps she ought to climb the others too. Sadly she didn’t quite manage it, leaving thirty or so to do. Her daughter Catherine and husband Mike undertook to finish them for her and she was delighted when, just two days before she died, Catherine phoned to say she had done three more. Christine had a wonderful ability to enjoy what others had done, whether it was Catherine climbing Munros or one of the family seeing an otter

Stephen Owen, Penrith

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, Warwick On Eden

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.