Queen's Award for Ferring Conservation Group

The work of a Ferring based conservation group has been recognised with a prestigious award.

Ferring Conservation Group has announced its success in winning the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service for 2016.

This award, which recognises excellence in voluntary activities carried out by groups in the community, was created by the Queen in 2002 to mark the occasion of Her Golden Jubilee and winners are announced each year on June 2.

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Ferring Conservation Group was first established in 1988 as a response to plans to develop an area of parkland within the village into a bowling centre and now has over 1,000 members.

The village of Ferring has diverse habitats on its doorstep: from vegetated shingle and interesting foreshore in the south, to the National Park in the north.

Conservation group members work throughout the village on projects such as tree planting along the River Rife, bulb planting on the village green, beach cleaning, litter picking, pond restoration and the establishment of nest boxes around the village.

In February of this year, members planted a Community Orchard of 19 fruit trees and it is hoped that this will become a focal point for the village for generations to come.

All these activities take place in partnership with local and national agencies such as the Parish Council, Arun District Council, Marine Conservation Society, the Environment Agency, Wildlife Trusts and Ferring Country Centre.

Nature walks and visits take place throughout the year and regular monthly meetings with interesting speakers on subjects as diverse as wildlife photography to the Rampion Wind Farm.

The group’s chairman, David Bettiss and his wife Carol, attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace on May 24 where they met the Queen and other winners of this year’s award.

David said: “This award is a fantastic achievement for Ferring Conservation Group, and recognises in the best possible way the wide range of educational, practical and campaigning work that our volunteers carry out across the village. I must thank Ferring Parish Council for nominating us in the first place, and I must also pay tribute to our many members who regularly give up their time to carry out all manner of tasks from beach cleans to planting trees to selling our own charity Christmas cards on behalf of our local children’s hospice, and these all make a difference. My biggest thanks though go to my fellow committee members who are the heart of the Group, and without whom we would never have been honoured with the Queen’s Award. It is truly a great day for us.”

Ferring Conservation Group will receive the award from the Lord Lieutenant of West Sussex later this summer.

New members are welcome to come and join in helping to keep Ferring a peaceful, wildlife haven for generations to come.

Find out more at www.ferringconservationgroup.co.uk.

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