RESIDENTS in Great Boughton and further afield have been saddened by the death of Pamela Atkinson, of Dee Banks, Boughton.

Pam, who died on Saturday, aged 79, after a difficult period of illness, will be sorely missed and long remembered for her work, much of it voluntary, in many different walks of life.

She first made her mark on community life by founding a pre-school playgroup in her house which she ran for 25 years.

She was elected Cheshire Woman of the Year in the 70s for her work.

For many years Pam took an active interest in local politics, sitting for the Social Democrats on Great Boughton Parish Council and was formerly their chairwoman.

Pam will also be remembered by many at the Wesley Methodist Church in St John Street, Chester, among other things for the soups that she cooked for lunchtime visitors to the church coffee lounge.

She held a number of public offices including that of school governor, she ran the Newts, a children’s nature group at Caldy Valley Centre, and was chairwoman of the private Dee View Estate for a number of years.

Pam will perhaps be best remembered for her imaginative work devoted to Caldy Nature Park, a 30-acre valley site she campaigned to have preserved when the area between Boughton Heath and Huntington was built up in the 1980s. In 1991 the Friends of Caldy Nature Park was founded by Pam and others.

All the events held there regularly – Countryside Day, the Hallowe’en Walk, the Easter Duck Race and the regular Working Parties – and many features of the nature reserve such as the Millennium Bridge, the hundreds of trees planted in the valley, the sluices, ponds and wetlands habitat, the well-kept paths and, of course, the thriving wildlife, are all witness to her indefatigability and hands-on approach in preserving this area of countryside.

Pam was born Pamela Margaret Farrant in West London, where she grew up.

In 1958 she moved to Cheshire with her husband Roger and young children, first to Alderley Edge, then to Chester, where they lived from 1964.

Pam’s cooking, her love of gardening and nature, her many creative projects such as spinning and dying wool and putting on puppet shows, and her own beautiful garden have inspired many, especially her children, who try to follow in her footsteps. For much of her adult life she skilfully balanced her attention to her family’s well-being and extensive public commitments.

Pam is survived by her husband Roger, five children – Richard, Catherine, Helen, Paul and Sheena – her sister Mary and 11 grandchildren.

The funeral will be held at the Wesley Methodist Church, St John Street, Chester, on Tuesday (December 13) at 10.30am.