Two of Lancashire’s most dedicated countryside experts have been formally thanked for their contribution to the Bowland countryside.
Tarja Wilson and Dave Padley, who have more than 50 years countryside management experience between them, were each presented with a Landscapes for Life Award at Beacon Fell Country Park.
The award is made by the National Association for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in recognition of staff, volunteers or elected members who have given 20 years or more service to one of Britain’s 46 AONBs.
A spokeswoman said: “Both Tarja and Dave have worked tirelessly to conserve and enhance the landscape and wildlife of the Forest of Bowland AONB, whilst doing all they can to improve access for all to this beautiful area.”
Tarja began work as a ranger at Beacon Fell in 1990, becoming a Countryside Officer a few years later. She was instrumental in helping to improve access for people with limited mobility through the provision of routes for Trampers (all-terrain electric scooters), and worked with the Disabled Ramblers and helped establish the 47km North Lancs Bridleway through the western side of the AONB.
Dave was appointed as Bowland Project Officer in the 1980s, had a pivotal role in many future AONB projects and helped set up the Bowland Initiative in the late 1990s.
The initiative was initially a national pilot scheme which offered business and environmental support to the land-based sector.
Dave’s love for traditional rural skills has seen him work closely with the Lancashire and Westmorland Hedge Laying Association and for many years Dave has been responsible for organising the annual Forest of Bowland Hedge Laying Competition.
The awards were presented by County Councillor Albert Atkinson, Chair of the Forest of Bowland joint advisory committee and Tarja and Dave received a certificate and a copy of the Landscape Photographer of the Year book.