a million voices for nature
Our warmest congratulations to Mike West, one of the Walsall RSPB Local Group's committee members, known to many of you as the seller of nuts and seeds at our indoor meetings, who recently received one of the most prestigious honours in the world of birds, the RSPB President's Award, for volunteers who have made an outstanding contribution to nature conservation.
The award came in the form of a carved wooden Avocet, the bird in the RSPB's logo. It was presented to Mike by RSPB President Julian Pettifer, at the Society's AGM on 7 October 2006, at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London. Mike's wife Ann, also an RSPB volunteer, was with him.
The citation was read out by RSPB Chief Executive Graham Wynne. He said:
Mike West has been a stalwart volunteer at the RSPB's Sandwell Valley nature reserve on the outskirts of Birmingham for many years. He gets involved in a huge range of RSPB work from attending public events, exhibitions and bird fairs, to giving talks, leading dawn chorus walks, answering wildlife enquiries, and assisting with the day to day running of the visitor centre at Sandwell. He inputs reserve data onto a map-based recording system and his bird knowledge is invaluable in dealing with the wide range of wildlife enquiries that the reserve receives each year. In fact, he is a walking encyclopaedia on birds; a man who wears many hats as a volunteer, including that of chef at the volunteer BBQ! But Mike's unstinting contribution to conservation is not confined to our Sandwell Valley reserve. He has helped with the Volunteer and Farmer Alliance scheme, is a committee member of the Walsall RSPB Local Group and represents the RSPB on the West Midland Biodiversity Action Partnership. Mike is also secretary of West Midland Bird Club — the largest bird club in Britain. He's now over 70 but shows no signs of slowing down or retiring. He is a genuine all rounder and a huge asset to the RSPB.
Group Leader, Mike Pittaway said:
We're all really pleased for Mike. He's quite a character, a good friend, and very popular with our members.
Lee Copplestone, RSPB Sandwell Valley site manager, added:
Mike is a huge asset to the RSPB and the community. His energy, enthusiasm and knowledge is remarkable and he deserves immense praise for his contribution to wildlife and society.
Well done, Mike!
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