Residents of Stockland Parish and the wider community may be interested to learn that local resident Dr David Allen was recently recognised for his services to the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). For over 20 years David, who is an experienced botanist and recognised expert on the varied habitats of the Blackdown Hills, has championed biodiversity both within the Stockland Turbaries and the wider AONB. Thanks to ongoing restoration work spearheaded by David and other local volunteers, certain areas of the Stockland Turbaries are now recognised as having special ecological importance and are wonderful habitats for rare plants and other wildlife. Those who know David will know and understand his passion for all things botanical and natural!

Along with Heather Stallard, another Blackdown Hills resident and Chair of Hemyock Parish Council, David’s work was recently recognised at the National Association for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty Landscapes for Life Conference 2016.

It should also be noted that until October 2015, David served on the Blackdown Hills AONB Partnership Management Group and also helped to develop the Blackdown Hills Natural Futures project (supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund) which started at the beginning of 2015.

David has modestly commented that “This award is not just about me. It is recognition of all the hard work our many volunteers have contributed over the years, without which nothing could be achieved.”