BBOWT celebrates Volunteers of the Year!

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

BBOWT Lifetime Achievement AwardsBBOWT Lifetime Achievement Awards: Margaret Cochrane, Anne Booth, Becky Woodell, Dr John Ward-Smith and Mike Turton. Pic: Kate Titford

Meet the winners! At the Trust’s AGM on Saturday 14 October Lifetime Achievement awards were presented to long-standing volunteers (pictured above). Also receiving awards were three volunteers and four groups of volunteers, all recognised for their outstanding contributions this year.

2017 winners

Barbara Muston, the Chair-Elect of BBOWT, praised all the Trust’s volunteers who between them give more than 18,000 days a year looking after local wildlife. “Without the dedication and commitment shown by all the people we are celebrating today, this Wildlife Trust would not be able to meet our vision of an environment rich in wildlife, valued by all. Personally I feel very humble to be meeting people who have spent their lifetimes monitoring butterflies, or meticulously creating the right habitats for rare plants and dragonflies.”The Volunteers of the Year Awards recognise and celebrate all the hard work our volunteers across the three counties do throughout the year, every year, in all weathers, giving so generously of their time and skills.

Read about all the 2017 winners here.

2016 winners

Derek Emes, Dr Michael Keith-Lucas and Shirley Townend from Berkshire received Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Ciaran Kealy from Oxford was voted Volunteer of the Year for his dedication and commitment to the conservation work parties he volunteers with in Oxfordshire.

Woolley Firs Nature Tots Group in Berkshire was voted Volunteer Group of the Year for their professionalism and expertise running popular sessions for pre-school children.

Read more about the 2016 winners and all the hard work they do for us here

Pictured below are Ann Davies, Gay Erskine-Walker and Sylvia O'Brien from College Lake. Two of the Lifetime Achievement Award winners: Derek Emes and Dr Michael Keith-Lucas display their Awards. Pics: Adrian Wallington.

2015 winners

Theale Area Bird Conservation Group, which carries out conservation work at Hosehill Lake reserve was voted Volunteer Group of the year.

Lloyd Garvey from West Berkshire was voted Volunteer of the year for all the many and varied roles he carries out for the Trust.

Roger Frankum, who has retired as warden of Hungerford Marsh after 35 years, received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Read more about the 2015 winners and all the hard work they do for us here.

2014 winners

Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented to Martin Sell, Martin Woolner, and Richard Birch.

Martin Whitfield, received the individual Volunteer award for his work in the 'meet and greet' team at College Lake.

West Berkshire Linking the Landscape Wednesday Group won the Volunteer Group award. Over the last two years this group has grown from three or four people to more than 15 who regularly take part, come rain or shine, every Wednesday in a wide range of practical conservation work. 

2013 winners

The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented at the AGM to Reg Tipping who is renowned as a bat expert, Watch leader, reserve warden and many years as a BBOWT Trustee.

Mick Jones, the warden at Dancersend reserve in Bucks, received the individual Volunteer award for his work over the last 25 years including leading work parties, species surveying, giving talks and encouraging local landowners to manage their land better for wildlife.

Jim Ballantyne from Oxon was Highly Commended for his extensive roles across many reserves including water vole surveying, scything, hedge-laying and tool maintenance. 

The Berkshire Mid-Week Team won the Volunteer Group award. This group of wildlife experts, keen scrub-bashers and fresh-air fiends can be found on the BBOWT nature reserves across the county every Thursday whatever the weather! Simon Allison, Brian Crathorne and Dave Osborn received their awards at the AGM, and the rest of the team will receive them later this autumn.

The Nature Tots leaders, Ginette Hampton, Jill Mortimer and Hilary Gatehouse from College Lake in Bucks were Highly Commended.

2012 winners

The winners were selected by a panel consisting of an experienced volunteer from each county, supported by a member of staff who works closely with volunteers.

Individual Winner 2012 – Martin Rowland
Martin has been volunteering at Chimney Meadows and on the Oxon Field Team for over 5 years; giving 3 days per week every week, often more and rarely missing a day. He is very skilled at carrying out a variety of habitat management tasks and his experience and advice for staff, trainees and other volunteers are invaluable. However, he goes beyond his practical role, applying his experience and logical approach to offer solutions in a variety of circumstances, constructing bespoke pieces of kit, working on projects in his own time, pony training, contributing to risk assessment processes or supporting information on specialist subjects, researching and producing reports on complex issues. It is often heard by staff time and again “if only we could clone Martin Rowland”.

Group Winner 2012- Arable Weed Project Group at College Lake
The group has a long history, having first started in October 1987. The project was one of the first of its kind in this country and has been of national importance. The project would simply not have been possible without the hard work of the volunteers associated with it. The volunteers have taken the lead on all aspects of the project, from carrying out the tractor work, to the countless hours spent painstakingly collecting seed. Due to the pioneering nature of the project, they have had to trial and perfect the management techniques used – and continue to come up with new ideas to achieve the best results. In the last year, George Bray has been writing a ‘cookbook’ documenting the management of the project over the years. This will provide an invaluable resource to both staff and other volunteers, ensuring that the immense knowledge gained by the current volunteers is retained for those involved in the project in the future.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Carol Winder- East Berks Regional Group (Sales/ events/ Fundraising)
For more than 30 years Carol has been a huge influence in East Berkshire. Her efforts have been wide-ranging and of great benefit to BBOWT. Over the years she has enthusiastically:

  • organised fund-raising events which have raised large amounts of money for BBOWT,
  • organised speakers to give talks,
  • arranged programmes of field visits,
  • organised tea ladies and sales rosters at BBOWT events,
  • attended work parties,
  • encouraged others to join and take an active part in the trust.

She has been a constant, reliable presence in East Berkshire and deserves recognition for all her hard work and dedication over many years.

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