NOTED Sunraysia field naturalist Mary Chandler was farewelled in a private service this week.

The author, historian, gardener, naturalist, actor and advocate died peacefully in hospital on September 22, aged 85.

She was a strong part of the Red Cliffs and District Historical Society, Cardross Progress Association, Red Cliffs Players, Red Cliffs Historical Steam Railway, The Red Cliffs Country Market and Sunraysia Field Naturalists Club.

Mary wrote at least seven books about the history and present state of the Red Cliffs and Cardross area including Against the Odds in 1979, regarded as the most comprehensive history of the district.

She also compiled works about her father, the nationally noted naturalist and photographer Les Chandler, of Nichols Point.

She additionally wrote a number of articles for national magazines and other publications.

As a local campaigner, Mary supported a number of causes including the campaign against plans for a toxic waste dump at Nowingi and wrote extensive submissions to government.

In a tribute this week, the historical society said Mary had typically been a very long-term committee member of many local groups.