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Parks volunteers wins top Green Flag Award Volunteer of the Year

17 February 2015

An 84-year-old volunteer collected one of the top honours at Keep Britain Tidy’s Diamond Jubilee Awards Ceremony in Liverpool last week.

John Buxton, a volunteer at Flitton Moor and Studham Common, Green Flag Community Award sites in Flitwick, Bedfordshire, won the Green Flag Award Volunteer of the Year, sponsored by Liverpool One in partnership with Cleanall. He was also a runner-up in the Keep Britain Tidy Diamond Jubilee Award.

John has been a volunteer for most of his life, but it is his conservation work at Central Bedfordshire Council sites such as Studham Common and Flitton Moor that earned him the award yesterday.

The Green Flag Award recognises and rewards the very best parks and green spaces. Many of these could not maintain the high standards required without the support, passion, knowledge and dedication of their teams of volunteers.

John was one of 11 winners whose achievements were recognised at the Keep Britain Tidy diamond jubilee ceremony, in the presence of Environment Minister Dan Rogerson MP and Keep Britain Tidy's Ambassador, TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp. The awards celebrated exceptional contributions made by partners and supporters  to the local and global environment.

Phil Barton, Chief Executive of Keep Britain Tidy, said: "Congratulations to John for winning the Green Flag Award Volunteer of the Year. He is an inspirational volunteer, always willing to give up his time and share his wealth of skills and experience. His volunteering tasks include some unusual work, like conservation diving.

"At 84 and even while on crutches, he's volunteering and keeping others looked after with tea and moral support from the back of his specially adapted car. Many congratulations to John."

The runner-up for the Green Flag Award Volunteer of the Year Award was:

•           William Burton

Bill's initiative to set up a Friends group at Manor Road Park Green, Bedfordshire, and work with the council has helped to maintain the park he's known all his life and improve the facilities for its users and the local community.

Bill Burton runner up

The award was sponsored by Liverpool ONE, working in partnership with Cleanall. Liverpool ONE is one of Europe's leading retail and leisure destinations, set in the heart of the city centre.

Liverpool ONE is the only new city centre commercial development in the country to include a park that has Green Flag Award status. It offers visitors more than 160 stores, bars and restaurants, a 14-screen cinema, an indoor adventure golf course and, of course, a five-acre park.

The full list of winners from the Diamond Jubilee Awards;

  • The Keep Britain Tidy Diamond Jubilee Award - Queen Elizabeth II High School, Isle of Man
  • The Diamond Jubilee Partnership Award - Love Essex
  • The Keep Britain Tidy Network: Campaign of the Year - Westminster City Council
  • The Keep Britain Tidy Network: Environmental Team of the Year - Liverpool Amey in partnership with Liverpool City Council
  • The Keep Britain Tidy Network: Quality Improvement Award - Luton Borough Council
  • The Green Flag Award Volunteer of the Year - John Buxton
  • The Big Tidy Up Award - Friends of Thringstone
  • The WaterCare Award - Friends of Bottesford Beck
  • The Eco-Schools Eco-Committee of the Year Award - Queen Elizabeth II High School, Isle of Man
  • The Waste less, Live more Award - Respoke
  • The Women's Institute Award - Mrs Marian Burton and Mrs Anita Mobbs from Doveridge Women's Institute