A man who has spent more than 35 years looking after birds has received the British Empire Medal for services to nature conservation.
Bob Sheppard, of Beech Avenue, Bourne, was presented the medal by the Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire Tony Worth at The Red Hall in Bourne.
It was announced he would recieve the award in Queen’s Birthday Honours List which was unveiled in June.
Guests came to the ceremony from all over the country to celebrate Bob’s work with owls and birds of prey.
Bob, 66, welcomed representatives from all the Drainage Boards in Lincolnshire, the Environment Agency, Forestry Commission and Lincolnshire Bird Club as well as local farmers and landowners.
They had all played a part in the years of hard work that had led to the award.
Speaking of his pride at receiving the award he thanked everyone for supporting him over the years, particularly his family.
Bob is also involved with organising a nest box scheme for the Friends of Bourne Wood which is funded by the Len Pick Trust.
Fifty-seven boxes have already been installed for small birds and a similar number are going up in December. Explaining to the audience that his work will continue in the future, Bob said that he was still enthusiastic and loved the voluntary work that he did in the county.
The Lord Lieutenant presenting the medal, said it was awarded for outstanding work over many years and Bob and his family could be proud of all his achievements.
Guests then enjoyed a buffet, including a cake in the shape of an owl.
Next summer Bob will be attending a garden party at Buckingham Palace, hosted by the Queen, in recognition of his medal.
Among the speakers paying tribute was Britain’s leading author and expert on barn owls Colin Shawyer.
He spoke in glowing terms of the contribution that Bob has made to the huge increase in numbers in the wild of this iconic bird.
Since Bob began working with farmers to create habitats for owls the population has tripled in the county.
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