Saturday, 11 June 2011

MBE for Chairman of Friends

Prof. Ray Matthews has been the chairman of the Friends of Paxton Pits Nature Reserve for the whole of my time as Senior Ranger here. In fact, he was involved in the interview process that resulted in me getting the job.

On Friday afternoon we received a blizzard of enquiries from the media, all trying to get hold of Ray who was on the Island of Mull with his family. It's a place not known for its good mobile reception! We kept saying that we could answer any questions about Paxton Pits but journalists kept telling us that they only wanted to speak to Ray and they couldn't tell us what it was about. We passed on Ray's mobile number and  played guessing games.

It was ranger Kirsty Drew who guessed it first and we scoured the internet for details. Yes, it was the eve of the Queen's Birthday Honours List but only the Independent was posting it and the site had crashed. The official posting was in the early hours of Saturday morning and there it was on the BBC site. Dr Ray Matthews, MBE for "Services to Conservation". (See the BBC Cambridge news headlines.)

We are all thrilled. This is overdue recognition for the huge amount of work that Ray does on our behalf and I see it also as recognition for the Friends themselves, and of course for Pam who's support makes such an achievement possible.

Well done Ray! Buckingham Palace, here we come!