QVASThe Conservators of Ashdown Forest recognised with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service for 2016

The Conservators of Ashdown Forest who manage Ashdown Forest has been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work in their communities. The awards were created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and winners are announced each year on 2 June – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.


The Conservators of Ashdown Forest is one of 193 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of awards given to groups this year is slightly higher than last year, showing that the sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to tackle community challenges.


150 volunteers provide invaluable support through their time, expertise and enthusiasm by working with the staff team on a daily basis all year round in all weathers. Whether as Mounted or Weekend Rangers, Conservation or Information Volunteers, through providing event and office support, running the Pop Up café, stock checking and lookering, leading specialist walks, monitoring or history and research all the volunteers have an exceptional knowledge and deep attachment to this very special place that is Ashdown Forest.

Janet Wirdman (Volunteer) and Pat Buesnel (Director) attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace on 24th May where they met the Queen and other winners of this year’s award - photos can be viewed below.

The Group received the award from the Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, Mr Peter Field, at a presentation ceremony very generously sponsored and hosted by Ashdown Park Hotel on Monday 19th September 2016. Photos of this event can be viewed below.


Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, Mr Peter Field said:

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is only awarded to those organisations that are innovatively moving forward volunteering in our Country. They are organisations that, by their example, are involving volunteers for projects that are making a real difference within our community, and the volunteers and staff of the Conservators of Ashdown Forest are doing just that. It is the equivalent of a group MBE and I want to add my congratulations to everyone involved. It is a great achievement’


Director, Pat Buesnel added:

This is a wonderful achievement fully deserved by our committed and enthusiastic teams of volunteers who give freely of their time, expertise and energy, and for the staff who support them”.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Committee Chair, former broadcast journalist Sir Martyn Lewis said:

“I warmly congratulate all of the inspirational voluntary groups who have been rewarded for their community work with a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The judging panel for this year’s awards were struck by the quality and breadth of all the successful groups.

The thousands of volunteers who give up spare time to help others in their community and to help solve problems demonstrate the very best of democracy in action.”


Buckingham Palace Garden Party

See more photos

Presentation Event

award ceremony

See more photos

Privacy Policy | Legal Statement | © 2011 Conservators of Ashdown Forest