(Above) One of the many photos taken by our President, Tony Bates
(Below) Tony Bates at Kingcombe Meadows Nature Reserve © Richard Cake
Dorset Wildlife Trust’s (DWT) President, Tony Bates, has been awarded an MBE for services to conservation and wildlife in Dorset in the Queen’s Birthday honours, which were announced today.
Tony became a member of DWT in 1972, with an interest in monitoring plants and photography when he moved to Dorset. Tony then became DWT’s Chairman in 1999, and President in 2010. For the last 40 years Tony has been instrumental in helping with the development of the Trust, through fundraising projects, contributing to surveys and practical conservation work across Dorset and providing fantastic photos for publicity and a wide range of projects. Tony also served on the Council of the national Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts for 6 years, representing the South West of England.
Despite retiring from the engineering industry in 1997, Tony has often worked full time hours as a volunteer for the benefit of DWT and wildlife in Dorset, whilst working on other projects such as the photography for the book, Dorset, a Naturalists County.
Tony is delighted with his honour. He said: “I was very pleased and proud to find out I’d been awarded an MBE for services to conservation and wildlife in Dorset. The bottom line is that I really enjoy it. I’ve met some fantastic people who have been a huge inspiration to me. I give lots of talks and presentation about DWT’s work to various groups in Dorset and it’s nice to think I can use my experience and knowledge to help others appreciate and help the natural environment in Dorset.”
“One of the biggest changes I’ve seen during my time with Dorset Wildlife Trust is the creation of the six visitor centres across Dorset. It’s also been wonderful to watch the organisation grow over the years, and I’m delighted to have played a part in that.”
DWT’s Chief Executive, Dr Simon Cripps, said “I would like to congratulate and thank Tony on behalf of Dorset Wildlife Trust for his contribution to the trust and Dorset’s wildlife over the last 40 years. It really is an absolute pleasure working with him he has so much energy and enthusiasm and we are so delighted he has been honoured for his hard work and dedication.”
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Dorset Wildlife Trust works to champion wildlife and natural places, to engage and inspire people and to promote sustainable living. Founded in 1961, DWT is now the largest voluntary nature conservation organisation in Dorset, with over 25,000 members and over 40 nature reserves. Most are open daily and there are visitor centres providing a wealth of wildlife information at Brooklands Farm, Lorton Meadows, Kingcombe Meadows and Brownsea Island Nature Reserves, The Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve and the Urban Wildlife Centre at Upton Heath Nature Reserve. DWT plays a key role in dealing with local environmental issues and leads the way in establishing the practices of sustainable development and engaging new audiences in conservation, particularly in the urban areas.