Kathleen Ashbridge was born in 1930. She lives with her sister, Margaret, in the house in Caldbeck in which she was born. She has lived in the Caldbeck area for most of her life and has always taken a keen interest in the countryside and wildlife, in particular wild flowers. Her parents encouraged her interests and she and her three sisters had a very happy childhood, spending as much time as they could playing and exploring on their family’s smallholding and the countryside round about. As a fourteen-year old at school in Wigton, she kept a fascinating and detailed wildlife observation diary for a period of six months. Kathleen later began her own teaching career in Wigton and subsequently taught at the tiny one-teacher school in Westward, and then in Hesket Newmarket and Caldbeck.
‘There was a field -- oh, half a mile away from here -- less than half a mile away -- and in the spring we could go into our field and sit down and pick cowslips. It was absolutely yellow with cowslips from end-to-end, and they were interspersed with early purple orchids. And we would come home with fistfuls of cowslips.’