The Great Bustard Group, a conservation charity based on Salisbury Plain, has been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.
Most of the work undertaken by the Great Bustard Group is done by volunteers: habitat management, hedge planting, aviculture and chick rearing, funs raising, census work and hosting visitors.
Fred and Rona Andrews, two long serving volunteers represented the Great Bustard Group, at a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Winners are announced each year on 2 June – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation. Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse. They include volunteers helping people overcome mental health problems through sport, volunteers using caravans as mobile cafe/information centres in geographically remote locations and another group mentoring children who have a parent in prison.
Representatives of the Great Bustard Group will receive the award from Mrs Sarah Troughton, Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire, later this summer.
David Waters, Great Bustard Group founder and Executive Officer says:
“The work of the Great Bustard Group, both in Wiltshire and Internationally is dependent on voluntary staff. Without them there would be no Great Bustards in Wiltshire. It is wonderful that they have been recognised in this way.”
Notes to editors:
1) Lord Lieutenants represent the monarch in each of the UK’s ceremonial counties.
2) This year there were 281 winners of The Queen’s Award Voluntary Service from across the UK. More information on the winners and the Award can be found at https://www.gov.uk/queens-award-for-voluntary-service
3) The Great Bustard Group was formed in 1997
4) The UK Great Bustard population is set to rise to close to 100 birds by the end of the summer, and is now self sustaining.