WHILE never in the headlines and nowhere near the cult of celebrity, Carol Scott nevertheless changed the lives of many. Very rarely did anyone walk away from even the briefest of meetings without a reconsideration of their place in the world.

Scott's grandfather was one of the last master gardeners of his era, a fact which doubtless inspired her enthusiasm for alpine rock gardens.

A teacher at heart, her early life brought her to Glasgow to teach future caterers at the Dough School (Queen's College, then the College of Domestic Science). She later became famed among friends for the quality of her Christmas cakes and jars of chutney.

The restrictions of academia, however, drove her to distraction and when the first of her two children was born, she began to devote her time to her other interests - wildlife rehabilitation and gardening.

She became a life member of the Scottish Rock Garden Club and her own alpine garden drew visitors from across the globe. She participated in the 1988 Garden Festival and opened her garden to the public in 2001. A variety of Erythronium, colloquially known as Erythronium Carol Scott, is one of her achievements, built on a foundation of botanical and practical knowledge.

For decades, most of her energy was devoted to the care and rehabilitation of Scotland's wildlife. While the children were young, she focused on smaller mammals. Later, she was able to move to raptors, combining her domestic life with a rehabilitation centre. In high season, a dozen infant kestrels shared the kitchen with growing tawny owlets. Merlins - our smallest falcon and at that time in rapid decline - occupied a breeding aviary in the garden, while a white-tailed seaeagle spent three moths convalescing from a broken leg.

As her children grew and left home, Scott became more politically active. In 1982, she accepted a part-time appointment as a seniorwildlife inspector for the Department of the Environment. The job involved travel over much of the UK, advising other inspectors and carrying out departmental checks of wildlife rehab centres. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, she attended wildlife inspectors' training seminars and gained a reputation as a guru among wildlife rehabilitators. She was often invited to give presentations about her experiences.

Later, she became a founder member of the British Wildlife Rehabilitation Council, acting as trustee and, for a time, honorary treasurer and a member of the steering committee.

She was an elected member of the Hawk and Owl Trust, becoming its rehabilitation officer. She advised animal welfare and conservation charities in the UK and in America, which she visited on several occasions as a member of the US Raptor Research Foundation, and attended conferences in Mexico, East Germany and Israel, to ensure Scotland's needs and skills were publicised and to endeavour to promote key legislation.

But, by the end of the millennium, age and infirmity had begun to limit her travels. Her garden, now mature, was her joy, especially when she was passing plants or cuttings of treasured specimens to friends. Her garden's open day was its crowning glory and the culmination of four decades' work.

In her last years, her health and energy began to decline, but, despite her weakness, she maintained contact with many friends who were also interested in raptors and gardening. Her last desire - to visit the summer Exhibition of the Scottish Rock Garden Club, of which she was a life member - - was fulfilled. She died peacefully the following day.