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Join the story walk in Culbin Forest and follow in the footsteps of botanist Mary McCallum Webster during the Moray Walking and Outdoor Festival

By Garry McCartney

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Find the monument to Mary McCallum Webster at Culbin.
Find the monument to Mary McCallum Webster at Culbin.

A LOCAL historical group has organised an event as part of Moray Walking and Outdoor Festival.

The midsummer walk in Culbin forest kicks off a series of events celebrating 150 years of the Falconer Museum.

Friends of the Falconer Museum chairman, Dr John Barrett, confirmed the botanical ramble will take place on the afternoon of Monday, June 20.

He said: “Many people are familiar with the eight stone sculptures of scientists and celebrities who dignify the museum façades. They are all men. Where are the eminent women? The forest walk recognises famous scientist Mary McCallum Webster, who lived from 1906 to 1985. This eminent botanist lived in Dyke where she compiled her master work, the definitive ‘Flora of Moray, Nairn and East Inverness’ in 1978.

“Culbin was her happy hunting ground and the Friends’ walk will follow in her footsteps.”

Rare lichen is still thriving in Culbin Forest.
Rare lichen is still thriving in Culbin Forest.

An expert botanist will guide walkers to the rarities and curiosities of the forest flora – perhaps even discovering Mary’s favourite, the one-flowered Wintergreen St Olaf’s candlestick (Moneses uniflora).

Mary’s biographer, Mary Byatt, will attend with insights into the botanist’s life and work. Further anecdotes will be shared by the family of Olga Stewart, McCallum Webster’s principal illustrator.

Places on the walk are limited and advance booking is essential.

See www.moraywalkoutdoorfest.co.uk for more information.

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