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Tributes paid to rambling campaigner Margaret Bowdery

Grace Witherden

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Grace Witherden

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A passionate countryside campaigner who dedicated her life to protecting and improving footpaths has sadly passed away.

Tributes have been paid to Margaret Bowdery MBE who was ‘full of energy’ and an ‘inspiration to us all’.

The campaigning member of the East Berks Ramblers association helped open up footpaths in Maidenhead and the surrounding areas as well as overseeing numerous projects including the opening of the Temple Bridge over the Thames in 1972 and the reopening of the towpath under Cookham Bridge in 2007.

The mother-of-two moved to Maidenhead in 1964 and got involved with campaigning after finding its footpaths overgrown with a lack of signposts.

Margaret was a founding member of East Berkshire Ramblers in the 1970s and a founding member of the Green Way working group, set up in 1991.

Friend Ann Darracott said: “Margaret was full of energy and enthusiasm and had a great knowledge of footpaths in our area. She will be greatly missed, in particular I will miss not being able to discuss issues with her.”

Bob Dulson, chairman of Maidenhead Civic Society, said: “Margaret was passionate about walking and enjoying the countryside and, as a doggedly determined campaigner, she was an inspiration to us all.” 

In 2006, she was awarded an MBE by the Prince of Wales for services to rambling, and in 2010 the Laggan Road resident was invited to meet the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at a reception in Windsor Castle.

She retired from her role as footpaths secretary for the East Berkshire Ramblers in 2014.

Cllr Simon Dudley, leader of the council said: “Margaret worked closely with many council officers and members over the years in her pursuit of improving access to the local countryside.

“Her enthusiasm and encyclopaedic knowledge of the local path networks was unparalleled, and her valuable contribution to making the borough’s footpaths and countryside accessible to residents and visitors will live on as her legacy.”

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