Ardent wildlife campaigner Patricia Callaghan has been a nature enthusiast since before her early days at the BBC.
This passion for the natural environment has dominated her working career – from her days as a TV Production Secretary through to Chair of Staffordshire Wildlife Trust.
“I was in TV in the 50s and 60s,” Pat said, “working with people like David Attenborough and Patrick Moore. It was an exciting time, and things happened quickly.
“I started as a secretary, helping to process David’s expenses on his first Zoo Quest, and progressed to a television director, linking camera teams across Europe for the first live broadcast of a total eclipse of the sun.”
Pat moved out of London, to Staffordshire, in 1966, to raise a family. She found herself working as a freelance reporter for BBC Radio Stoke, mostly covering environmental issues on the Countryside programme. Through her work and the radio station’s connections, Pat became involved with Staffordshire Wildlife Trust.
“I have been involved with the Trust since the 1980s,” said Pat, who officially retired from radio in “the late 90s, when they moved from tape to digital stuff”.
Formerly Chair of the Trust, since 1995 to 2007, Pat currently holds the post of Honorary Secretary. During this time, the organisation has seen major growth, including membership going from “just a few thousand to 16,000”, one of her “biggest achievements”.
Her other roles have included Chair of the Potteries and Newcastle Wildlife Group, since 1995, and Chair of Sustainable Staffordshire, from 2000 to 2005.
The latter recently awarded Pat the Elizabeth Sasse Memorial Award for her services to sustainable development. The Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts also recognised her work in advancing nature conservation and awarded her the Christopher Cadbury Medal in 2006.
The award of Honorary Doctor of Staffordshire University is bestowed upon Pat for her contribution to sustainable development, her leadership of Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and enhancing the county’s profile through her work.
Sadly in May 2018, Patricia Callaghan has passed away.