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A walk in the woods has led a Dinnington women to enjoy an audience with the Queen.
Outdoor fan Kelly Brindley, 31, was summoned to Buckingham Palace to represent the Forestry Commission’s regional team who were up for another major award for its work with local communities in woods like Dinnington, Bentley, Thurnscoe, Brodsworth and Kiveton Community Woods in South Yorkshire.
Last month rangers won the national Understanding and Engaging with Communities Award at the Civil Service Diversity and Equality Awards 2010. That meant a palace date and although the forest rangers narrowly missed out on another top prize in the Civil Service Awards the occasion was an unforgettable one! Kelly said:
“It was a real eye opener and also a very proud moment. We work with people at a grassroots level to help them get the most from the region’s new woods. It was fantastic to represent the whole ranger team at what was a pretty glittering occasion. I never thought a job in the woods would take me to meet the Queen!”
Rangers oversee a busy programme of events including Green Gym sessions, Nordic walking, buggyfit and health walks. Woods are owned by the Land Trust and managed by the Forestry Commission.
Kelly, a graduate of Sheffield Hallam University and former pupil at Dinnington Comprehensive, was appointed two years ago. Her post is funded both NHS Doncaster and the Forestry Commission to encourage people to take healthy recreation.
Euan Hall Chief Executive of the Land Trust comments:
“The recognition that the rangers have received is well deserved. Our work with the Forestry Commission and the communities of South Yorkshire is very much the epitome what the Governments “Big Society” is seeking to achieve; in the five years since these woodland have been under management 24,000 people have participated in health and education activities and over 23,000 people have attended community events that promote social cohesion. Over 1,500 days of volunteering have taken place and nearly 5,000 local people have developed new skills and experiences.”
Andy Medhurst, Forest Management Director with the Forestry Commission, added:
“It’s terrific to see national recognition for the work we are doing in South Yorkshire in partnership with the Land Trust. Helping people enjoy the new beauty spots taking shape on ex-colliery land is key to the success of this major land renewal project.”
Notes to Editor
Forestry Commission England is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands. For further information visit www.forestry.gov.uk
Media calls to Richard Darn on 0775 367 0038.