Leading expert on heather and moorland landscapes who was a dedicated environmentalist

Travel north through the uplands of Britain in August and you enter the world heartland of the purple, heather-quilted landscape known as moorland. Its principal plant, ling heather, known scientifically as Calluna vulgaris, and the fire and grazing management that governs its growth and distinctive appeal, was the subject of Charles Gimingham’s pioneering research and quiet advocacy.

Based at the University of Aberdeen from 1946, first as research assistant, then lecturer, and promoted on to be professor of botany from 1969 until 1988, Charles, who has died aged 95, became the foremost expert on heather and moorland landscapes, and a considerable force for scholarly environmentalism.

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