DEGREE AWARD: Dr Margaret Bradshaw
DEGREE AWARD: Dr Margaret Bradshaw

CELEBRATED dale botanist Dr Margaret Bradshaw was awarded an honorary science doctorate by Durham University this week.

The award is in recognition of her tireless work to save the wildflowers of Teesdale.

A former teacher, Dr Bradshaw earned her first doctorate in botany in 1959, after she was encouraged by Dr Max Walters to survey rare lady’s mantle in the upper dale.

The 97-year-old said: “The rarest lady’s mantle are the meadow types and I found one of them on my first outing.

“It had never been recorded in Britain before. Max was the first to identify it, but I was the first to find it.”

Durham University described the botanist as a world expert as well as being an enthusiastic teacher.

Last year she published her first book Teesdale’s Special Flora: Places, Plants and People at the age of 97.

Of the award Dr Bradshaw said: “It’s great. It was quite a surprise, but obviously a very nice one.”

Dr Bradshaw was one of six people to be honoured by the university this summer along side journalist and broadcaster Hunter Davies; human rights advocate Dr Dalee Sambo Dorough; author and advocate for girls to realise their potential science technology, engineering and maths Anne-Marie Imafidon; Oxford’s Bodley librarian Richard Ovenden; and businessman James Timpson.

Vice-chancellor Professor Karen O’Brien said: “Our summer honorary graduates are a shining inspiration to all our community, achieving at the highest levels of their professions while effecting positive change on our society and culture.

“All have links to the city or university of Durham, or to the wider North East of England, and we are proud to call several of them our alumni.

“From protecting our natural world, enhancing global human rights, increasing access to learning and employment, educating and entertaining, their outstanding contributions deserve to be recognised.”