A FOUNDER member of Staffordshire Wildlife Trust has received an award on his 90th birthday for ‘Exceptional Voluntary Service to the cause of wildlife in Staffordshire.’
Maurice Arnold, from Tamworth, received the Staffordshire Wildlife Medal at a celebration of his 90th birthday recently.
He helped to found the original West Midlands Trust for Nature Conservation, and became a founder member of Staffordshire Wildlife Trust in 1969. He has been an active naturalist in Tamworth since his early years.
“Maurice has an extensive knowledge of natural history and local history and is always ready to give his time to anyone wishing to learn from him,” said Sue Lawley, Head of Living Landscapes at Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, who presented Maurice with his award.
“His conservation work sets him above many others. He discovered and promoted Alvecote Pools, Broad Meadow and many other sites as nature reserves and was instrumental in getting places designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
“We were delighted to present the award to Maurice for his exceptional work related to nature and wildlife for such a long period of time.”
Maurice is a strong campaigner against damage, for example acting to save Hopwas Hayes Woods which is enjoyed by thousands of people each year. He is also a supporter of projects including Wild About Tamworth, and the creation of wetland at Middleton Lakes.
Maurice is also an active wildlife recorder and surveyor. In particular, carrying out fritillary counts since the 1950s from Broad Meadow which form an important data set that will continue to inform management of the site in the future.
After receiving his award, he said: “The award was a very nice surprise and I am very pleased with it, it is an honour. It is a tribute to Tamworth and all those people who have volunteered for projects like Wild About Tamworth, which have come such a long way since the beginning.
“I would like to thank all those who have given their support to invaluable voluntary work in Tamworth and to those who have given their time and energy to help protect wildlife and nature over the years.