RURAL stalwart Olive Clarke was honoured at Levens Hall “for her long and distinguished track record in Cumbria and beyond.”

The 97-year-old of Kaker Mill Farm, Crooklands, was presented with a certificate and flowers by the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) at the annual general meeting of its Cumbria branch. The CLA represents land, property and business owners across rural England and Wales.

In 1994, Olive was awarded an OBE for her role in saving the Settle to Carlisle railway as a member of the North West Transport Users’ Consultative Committee. She has also had stints as a magistrate and as both a parish and county councillor.

Sarah Hendry, director of the CLA, said: “It was an honour to recognise Olive for her long and distinguished track record in Cumbria and beyond, especially for breaking new ground for women in the rural scetor.

“Olive’s commitment to the CLA has been outstanding over the years, and the fact that she is only now resigning as CLA Cumbria branch committee member, at the age of 97, is testament to her utter dedication.”

Dorothy Fairburn, CLA director north, added: “Olive’s passionate and determined attitude is well recognised in Cumbria and beyond, and she is a true ambassador for the countryside. She has made a real and lasting impact on the lives of individuals and communities across Cumbria.

“Her interest in legislation affecting the countryside, coupled with her ability to meaningfully contribute to discussions and decisions made her a much loved and respected personality within the CLA.”