Volunteer, Dave Cole, awarded Christopher Cadbury Medal

The Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts has awarded the 2016 Christopher Cadbury Medal for services to the advancement of nature conservation in the British Islands, to Dave Cole, naturalist and Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust volunteer.

Dave has been volunteering at Rutland Water Nature Reserve for over 35 years, and in that time has succeeded in inspiring staff, trainees and volunteers alike. From wildlife surveying to filmmaking, carpentry to practical nature conservation, there is no job too big or small that Dave won’t tackle with enthusiasm and knowledge.

Dave has been instrumental in building confidence, knowledge and skills of everyone he meets. An inspiring all-round naturalist, his personal expertise and tuition has had a huge impact on the nature reserve, especially trainee staff. He has inspired members of the public to fall in love with wildlife, through numerous public walks.

Since 1980, David has taken part in monthly Wetland Bird Surveys and has undertaken breeding bird surveys, as well as local bat surveys.

His legendary carpentry skills have been invaluable, from overseeing the construction of all 35 birdwatching hides on the nature reserve, to the erection of thousands of nest boxes for an array of species, and even the internal fittings in the new Volunteer Training Centre.

Dave was presented with the Christopher Cadbury Medal by Tony Juniper, President of The Wildlife Trusts. In accepting the award Dave said “It’s a great privilege to volunteer at Rutland Water Nature Reserve and contribute to this wonderful place. I am lucky to be part of a wonderful group of volunteers and I am honoured to accept the Christopher Cadbury Medal on behalf of the whole team.”

Commenting on the award, Tim Appleton, Rutland Water Nature Reserve Manager, said “Dave Cole is a very worthy recipient of the Christopher Cadbury Medal. His long standing voluntary contribution to nature conservation at Rutland Water Nature Reserve is unprecedented and the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust has benefitted hugely from his wide range of skills and expertise.”

The Christopher Cadbury Medal was instituted in recognition of the outstanding contribution to both nature conservation and The Wildlife Trusts by the late Mr. J. Christopher Cadbury CBE MA (President RSNC 1962-1968).

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Photo: Volunteer, Dave Cole receiving the Christopher Cadbury Medal from Tony Juniper, President of The Wildlife Trusts (Michelle Househam, RSWT)