My dad, Richard Hedley, who has died aged 80, said he was lucky to have lived in two of God’s great counties. His childhood county of Northumberland inspired his love of the outdoors, but Hampshire, his home for nearly 60 years, was where he left a lasting legacy through his work in conserving a rare species of orchid.

Born in Whitley Bay, to Francis, a clergyman, and Sybil, a teacher, Richard and his brother, Nicholas, enjoyed a childhood peppered with hill-walking and fishing, and which included evacuation during the second world war to the village of Hepple. These semi-rural early years, completed with education at the progressive Kingsmoor boarding school, in Glossop, Derbyshire, led Richard to study botany and biological sciences at King’s College, Durham (now Newcastle University), before training as a teacher. He met Jean, his wife of 57 years, when he was 18 and they married in 1959.

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Source: Guardian Environment