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Local luminaries receive national award for service to the AONB

( Last Updated: 07-09-2016 )


Blackdown Hills’ residents, Heather Stallard and David Allen, have been honoured with Landscapes for Life awards for long-standing service to the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The awards, presented by the National Association for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, recognise the service of those who have dedicated more than 20 years of cumulative service to AONBs.

Both Heather and David have served many years as AONB Partnership Management Group members. This is the first time Blackdown Hills AONB Partnership members have been honoured in this way.

Linda Bennett, Blackdown Hills AONB manager, said:

“We nominated Heather and David for this award as they have invested such a huge amount of energy and commitment to the Blackdown Hills AONB. It is fantastic that they have been recognised nationally for their work locally, especially in the year we’re celebrating our 25th anniversary as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.” 

David Allen receiving Landscapes for Life awardDavid Allen is a professional botanist and an expert on the lowland heaths, bogs and mires of the Blackdown Hills. Over the past 20 years David has been a champion for biodiversity in the AONB, inspiring young and old to share his enthusiasm. His achievements include restoring the Stockland turbaries to what are now fantastic habitats for rare plants and other wildlife. David also helped to develop Blackdown Hills Natural Futures project (supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund) which started at the beginning of 2015.


Heather Stallard receiving Landscapes for LifeHeather Stallard, Chair of Hemyock Parish Council, was a keen campaigner for the Blackdown Hills becoming an Area of Outstanding Beauty. Since its designation in 1991, she has been closely involved in its development and management. With her family, she established some 60 acres of cider apple orchards on their farm in Hemyock giving her strong roots in the landscape and the community. Heather has always provided that vital link between the AONB Partnership and local people, through her work with Hemyock Parish Council, the Blackdowns Support Group, and the Blackdown Hills Business Association.

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