Remembering Morag McGrath

Remembering Morag McGrath

Geoff Radford, former Trust Chairman, and friend of Morag McGrath remembers the significant contribution she made to conservation organisations in North Wales

Many of the people who have been active among the various organisations concerned with the natural environment and especially the botany of north west Wales will have known Morag or known of her. She was hugely supportive of wildlife conservation work and of efforts to connect people with the natural world for all the benefits that brings.

Following studies at Bangor, which gained her a doctorate in the study of mosses, she volunteered under the Voluntary Services Overseas programme during which she became very aware of the social injustice prevalent at that time in South Africa. The experience made a lasting impression and eventually led to her working as a researcher in social science, notably in the field of services for those with learning difficulty.

Morag McGrath_Pippa Bonner

Morag McGrath © Pippa Bonner

Plants and their place in the world were a constant in Morag’s life, even when employment took her off in other directions. She used the opportunities work brought for travel in Wales to explore its flora and expanded on that to travel widely abroad. She used the excellent photographs taken on her travels in the many talks she gave to the societies she supported, helping to enthuse others with her love for the countryside. Closer to home, her garden was very important to her and reflected the breadth of her interest, particularly in alpines.

Her deep regard for the natural world and a concern for social justice very much governed Morag’s outlook throughout life and this was reflected in her voluntary work following retirement. She gave unstinting support to: North Wales Wildlife Trust, in which she served as trustee and treasurer; the Snowdonia Society, in which she was trustee, chair and vice-president; and the Campaign for the Preservation of Rural Wales, in which she also took a leading role. Less formally, she was a member of several other local organisations and particularly enjoyed walking with rambling groups in north Wales.

Morag was wholehearted in her commitment to the causes she believed in and no less so to her friends. She will be greatly missed by those fortunate enough to have known her.