Derek Ratcliffe was an outstanding ecologist and nature conservationist who had an international reputation in ornithology and botany. One of his favourite places was Finglandrigg Wood and his research into the Chemical DDT led to the preservation of the Peregrine Falcon.
Derek was Deputy Director (Science) of the Nature Conservancy (from 1973, the Nature Conservancy Council -NCC), becoming the Chief Scientist until 1989. He Died on 25th may 2005.
A granite stone bears a plaque commemorating the work of this famous scientist and ecologist.
He was the author of nine books, including:
- Plant Communities of the Scottish Highlands (1962, with Donald McVean).
- A Nature Conservation Review (1977, edited; 2 volumes).
- The Peregrine Falcon (1980, 1993 expanded second edition).
- Birds of Mountain and Upland (1990).
- The Raven (1997).
- In Search of Nature (2000).
- Lakeland (2002).
- Lapland-A Natural History, is an account of Derek’s annual expeditions to the far north, with his wife Jeannette.