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Forest Volunteers honoured

Submitted by on July 23, 2015 – 2:45 pmOne Comment

HM Lord Lieutenant, Helen Nellis visited the Forest Centre to present the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service on Thursday 23 JulyWe were completely thrilled, earlier today, to welcome HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis to the Forest Centre and Millennium Country Park  to present the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service to the Forest of Marston Vale. This is the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK, so it wasn’t surprising that more than that fifty of the 120 Forest Volunteers assembled at the Forest Centre to receive a commemorative crystal bowl and certificate.

Speaking after the ceremony the Lord-Lieutenant said “I was delighted to present this award on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen to the Forest of Marston Vale Volunteers. The group is an exceptionally well-run, high quality organisation and represents the very best example of how well co-ordinated and dedicated volunteers can make a genuine impact on their local community.

I have watched with excitement since the day of the opening of the Forest Centre, what a difference these dedicated volunteers have made year on year to the development of this amazing Bedfordshire success.”

The Forest Volunteers is one of six charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award across East Anglia this year. The Awards were created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and winners are announced each year on 2 June – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.

Forest  Volunteers carry out a huge range of tasks, all to help create the Forest of Marston Vale. As well as a host of practical conservation jobs, volunteers take photographs, help at events, look after web sites, man Forest Centre reception… it’s a long list and one that is expanding all the time.

Another very exciting and hot piece of news – the Millennium Country Park has today been awarded the Green Flag Award from Keep Britain Tidy, for the ninth year in a row which is, in no small part, down to the contribution by our amazing volunteers.

Nigel Davis, a Forest Volunteer of several years standing as well as a trustee of the Forest of Marston Vale Trust (the charity behind the creation of the Forest of Marston Vale) said: “I’m thrilled that the huge amount of work put in by Forest Volunteers has been recognised so publicly. There are so many people involved, contributing in so many ways and they are all vital to the creation of the Forest.”

After completing the formalities, the Lord Lieutenant had time to join participants in our pond dipping session for kids – apparently she was a dab hand with a net. We would like to thank her for sparing the time to come to see us today and for helping to make the occasion so special.

The Trust is always on the lookout for new volunteers. So if you have some spare time and would like to do something amazing and enjoyable to make the Marston Vale an even better place, they would love to hear from you. To find out more about the Forest Volunteers – click here.

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The Forest of Marston Vale Trust. Registered in England No 3462405, Registered Charity No 1069229. Marston Vale Services Ltd. trading as The Forest Centre Registered in England No 3538255.
Marston Vale Farms Ltd. Registered in England No 6537891. Registered Office for all: The Forest Centre, Station Road, Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, MK43 0PR
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