A WAITRESS with a degree in archaeology is hoping to be crowned Miss England 2020.

Natasha Carberry told the Gazette her family had been encouraging her to enter the pageant "for years".

"I've always thought, I won't yet because I'm studying," said the 21-year-old, "but I've finished university now and I thought, now's the chance to do some things that I want to do."

Natasha is a catering assistant at Kendal's Brewery Arts Centre restaurant. She moved to the town earlier this year with her boyfriend, Ferdinand von Holstein, who works at Hill Top, Beatrix Potter's former home at Near Sawrey.

January will see Natasha start a new job with the National Trust at Tarn Hows, as food and beverage manager at a new ice cream and hot drinks van.

"I am interested in taking part in Miss England because I would love to have a platform to raise money for some local charities," she said.

"Living so close to the Lake District means I am very interested in conservation charities that help to look after our wonderful cultural heritage and the environment."

As part of her archaeological science degree at the University of York, she helped to excavate a Roman fort at Malton, in North Yorkshire, and her 10,000-word dissertation was based on the evidence for Neanderthal healthcare.

Natasha, who was born on Teeside, added: "I love there is a general knowledge round in the competition, showing that Miss England is much more than a beauty competition."

To vote for Natasha to go through to the Miss England 2020 semi-final, see www.missengland.info/qualifiers/photo-heat-2/