Margaret, 95, finishes 88km trek
By Martin Paul - Senior Reporter
TEESDALE botanist Dr Margaret Bradshaw has raised thousands of pounds to protect rare upland plants during an epic 88km horse trek
The 95-year-old rode as much as eight kilometres every Friday over more than ten weeks to complete the challenge. The Trek for Teesdale Flora challenge ended where it began, at Eggleston’s Moorcock Inn, where a small crowd of well-wishers were on hand to celebrate Dr Bradshaw’s achievement.
Among them was dale MP Dehenna Davison.
She said: “It is absolutely amazing and it would be a challenge for anyone.”
Also present was botanist John O’Reilly, who is currently undertaking a survey of the rare flowers and plants in the upper dale and who came up with the challenge for Dr Bradshaw to ride the boundary distance of the River Tees catchment area to raise cash for its preservation.
He said surveys show that the area’s rare plants are disappearing.
He added: “Compared to Dr Bradshaw’s surveys of 30 to 40 years ago, there has been a 50 per cent decline.”
Cash raised during the challenge will be used to continue surveying the area and to come up with ways to protect rare species.
On completion of her trek Dr Bradshaw said: “It has been great, and what is really great is the amount we have raised – more than £5,000.”
She was joined on her journey by friend and ecologist Trisha Snaith, who kept supporters up to date on progress through social media.