Cadbury medals awarded

Thursday 24th November 2011

Brendan Joyce and Chris Baines. Image credit: Frank NoonBrendan Joyce and Chris Baines. Image credit: Frank Noon

Two individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to nature conservation have each received a prestigious award from The Wildlife Trusts.

An inspirational and tireless campaigner Ron Hill, former Chair of Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, is the recipient of the 2011 Christopher Cadbury medal. Passionate and committed conservationist Brendan Joyce, Chief Executive of Norfolk Wildlife Trust, is awarded the staff medal, presented every three years.

The medals were presented by The Wildlife Trusts’ Vice Presidents, Professor Chris Baines, one of the UK's leading independent environmentalists. The ceremony took place at The Wildlife Trusts’ Annual General Meeting in Grantham on Wednesday 23 November.

Stephanie Hilborne OBE, Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trusts, said:

“Dedicated and passionate individuals are the lifeblood of The Wildlife Trusts today, as they were a century ago when the movement was founded by naturalist and banker Charles Rothschild. The people and wildlife of Warwickshire and Norfolk have much to thank Ron and Brendan for. As do we all.”


Ron Hill – Annual medal

Ron has played an active role within Warwickshire Wildlife Trust for more than a quarter of a century. He was Chair of the Trust from 1989 to 1992 and was instrumental in establishing many of its reserves, such as the broadleaved woodlands at Clowes Wood and New Fallings Coppice. He campaigned tirelessly to prevent the destruction of the last species-rich meadow in Shirley. Although part of the site was developed, the remainder was designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Ron’s role in the Nature Reserves Working Group continues today.

People engagement is another of Ron’s strengths. As well as running public events and talks, he has transformed the Parkridge Centre, situated in a public park close to central Solihull. The regular volunteer days he organises have resulted in a wildlife garden, geology trail and bird feeding stations. These features offer multiple opportunities for local people to engage with nature in an urban environment. Ron also designed and built his own footpath ramp for the centre. This increase in accessibility encourages regular visits from a wide range of people.

Stephen Trotter, Chief Executive at Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, said: "Ron is an inspiration to us all. Over a period of more than 30 years he has enthusiastically and passionately worked as a volunteer on behalf of Warwickshire’s wildlife and wild places. This award recognises his achievements and I would like to add all of our thanks to Ron for the enormous contribution he has made over the years. This is a very well deserved award and we’re delighted for him. "

Brendan Joyce – Staff medal
Brendan’s role as Chief Executive of Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT) began in 1995. He has overseen the expansion and restoration of some of Norfolk’s most iconic landscapes. In the Broads, NWT is creating 3,000 hectares of floodplain grazing marsh and fen for wildlife, following land acquisitions adjacent to its Upton Broad nature reserve. Under Brendan’s guidance its Gaywood Valley Living Landscape scheme has also led to major progress to restore lowland heathland - a rare and threatened habitat.

One of the most significant developments for Norfolk Wildlife Trust, under Brendan’s leadership, has been the opening of the award-winning visitor centre at Cley Marshes nature reserve. With its unrivalled panoramic views of the marshes, it attracts 100,000 visitors a year.

Brendan was nominated by his Chair Tim Cawkwell, who praised his boundless commitment to and passion for, the conservation of Norfolk’s wildlife. Tim said:
“When Brendan came to Norfolk in 1995, the Trust was already a well-established and effective organisation. Since then he has overseen a major expansion in the numbers of staff engaged in nature conservation, in the scope of the Trust’s educational work, in the number of Trust members, and above all, in the area of Norfolk owned and managed for nature conservation.”

Brendan said:
“I am deeply honoured to be given this award, which I accept not just for me, but for all the staff and volunteers of Norfolk Wildlife Trust who have achieved so much for wildlife conservation and education in Norfolk. There remains much to do in working towards our goal of creating a Living Landscape for Norfolk, but one of the biggest rewards is seeing the tangible progress we have been making.”

The Christopher Cadbury Medal

The Christopher Cadbury Medal for services to nature conservation was instituted in recognition of the outstanding contribution to this work and to the Royal Society for Wildlife Trusts by the late Mr J Christopher Cadbury CBE MA (President 1962-1968). Past winners include Thomas William Cain CBE and Harry Green.