MARGARET Colquhoun, born in 1947, was a Yorkshire lass; she and wee brother Xenophon were raised in a big old red brick house in Ripon on the banks of the River Ure.

Margaret’s mother Marika was a justice of the peace and Eric, her father, taught maths and music at Ripon Grammar School.

Eric was a keen gardener and bee keeper so no doubt this was where Margaret first got an interest in our flora and fauna.

Margaret came to Scotland in the mid-1960s, where she gained a doctorate in genetics at Edinburgh University.

Her extra-curricular activities included an overland trip on the ‘hippy trail’ to Kabul in Afghanistan and mountaineering and rock climbing in the Highlands.

Through climbing she met the Edinburgh mountaineer Dave Bathgate and they were married in 1970. They bought a house in the country and lived happily with a cat, a dog, Daisy the Jersey cow and a fine Welsh cob.

Margaret trekked up to Everest base camp, where Dave was engaged in an attempt on the south west face.

They divorced in 1977 but remained firm friends, Dave helping with construction work at Pishwanton Wood.

Margaret was a founder of the business Helios Fountain in Edinburgh’s Grassmarket and involved in the conception of Peter Potter Gallery in Haddington before starting up The Life Science Trust in 1992.

Dr Margaret Colquhoun studied zoology and genetics with agricultural science at Edinburgh University in the 1960s and worked there as a research associate in the 1970s on questions of population genetics and evolutionary biology.

Later on, still carrying questions into the reality and relationship of taxonomy and evolution, she spent four years in the Carl Gustav Carus Institute in Oschelbronn in Germany and at the Natural Science Section in Dornach, Switzerland, learning to use the Goethean scientific methodology.

Since then, she has both taught and researched extensively using Goethean science in Britain with a special interest in landscape, medicinal plants and animal evolution.

She was also the director of the Pishwanton Project of the Life Science Trust, an educational charity working on environmental issues in East Lothian.

After her Ph.D. at Edinburgh University, she underwent a four-year training (in Germany and Switzerland) in the scientific methodology developed by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Her special interest was in landscape, medicinal plants and animal evolution. This was a turning point in her life’s work, enabling her to develop a holistic way of practising science, which she carried, in collaboration with others, into many different spheres of work: science, agriculture, horticulture, medicine, landscape design, architecture, therapy, visual and performing arts and numerous crafts.

In 1992 she founded the The Life Science Trust, a Scottish charity, whose aim was the furtherance of this work.

In 1996, the trust purchased Pishwanton Wood, at the foot of the Lammermuir hills near Gifford, which became the focus of Margaret Colquhoun’s work.

Hundreds of people, both from the local area and all over the world, have come to Pishwanton to work and study there. The project still continues to develop, and on Margaret’s 70th birthday in May 2017 she opened the first residential chalet on-site.

She herself described Pishwanton as: “A pioneer experiment in the sustainable and therapeutic integration of a variety of activities that might normally be seen as mutually exclusive, for example agriculture, horticulture, medicinal plant cultivation, ecological conservation and research, education, the arts, community living and business. The Pishwanton Project is thus an innovative, land-based project, which provides a pioneer focus for sustainability in the 21st century.”

She was much loved by a large number of friends from all over the world and her wonderful collaborative work will continue for very many people to be a living inspiration.

Margaret passed away on August 3 and her funeral took place on Sunday.

A memorial meeting takes place at Pishwanton on September 17 at 2pm, to which everyone is warmly welcomed.

Parking is extremely limited and anyone looking to attend should contact