Award recognises Wakefield’s green heroWakefield Tree Warden Roger Parkinson has won the ‘Natural Hero’ category in the National Trust’s first ever Octavia Hill Awards, which were set up to recognise green heroes.
The six awards are named after Trust founder and social reformer Octavia Hill who died in 1912. Roger and all the other winners, including broadcaster Julia Bradbury, were nominated and voted for by the public.
The awards, run in partnership with ‘Countryfile Magazine’, recognise work carried out between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2011. For the ‘Natural Hero’ category, people were invited to nominate individuals working for community spaces that matter to people and wildlife – in woodlands, nature reserves or orchards.
Roger, who is chairman of Wakefield Tree Wardens, is an inspirational tree conservation leader, regularly sharing his knowledge and passion as a public speaker and field teacher. But he doesn’t just talk tree conservation – he is a practitioner who has helped restore a five-acre arboretum with more than 150 tree species. He has also helped individuals and groups with their own woodland creation projects – bringing people together, bridging the age gap and changing lives.
The awards attracted over 160 entries UK-wide and a panel of judges selected a final shortlist. The public then voted, in their thousands, for the shortlisted entries.
Fiona Reynolds, director-general of the National Trust, said: “Roger, and the other winners and runners up, show extraordinary achievement and real pride in their work. They fully deserve this recognition for their passion, endeavour and determination.”
Roger joined the five other winners at an awards ceremony in London where he received a specially commissioned bowl made from English elm and oak collected from woods near Crockham in Kent where Octavia Hill lived. He also won the opportunity to be mentored by a Trust expert and will be profiled in ‘Countryfile Magazine’.
More information about the awards please visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/octaviaawards.