Awards have been presented to people who are championing the conservation and enhancement of nature on the Devon and Cornwall border.

The Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) gave out its Valley Champion Awards for this year at its annual forum.

Jo Tytherleigh and Ken Finn from Harewood Farm, Calstock, were recognised for the sensitive management of their 25-acre traditional hay meadow and woodland. 

Their meadows are managed through cutting hay in late-summer and grazing in autumn/spring, allowing the many diverse flowers and invertebrates to complete their lifecycles. 

Jo and Ken share their knowledge and passion for the land and the soil with others through field to fork workshops, connecting growing and cooking with local, home-produced food. 

Ray and Jean Croft received an award for their volunteering work with the AONB team over the past 20 years. Their activities have included serving refreshments at events, stewarding and marshalling, driving a community bus, and delivering newsletters. 

Special commendations went to Dave Olver for his involvement with a walking group and Peter Thompson for his voluntary work with Tamar Community Trust, in particular helping with the design of the Calstock Wetlands footbridge and setting up the Calstock Wetlands Bird Watchers Group Facebook page. 

Around 50 forum delegates met at Buckland Abbey in West Devon to hear more about plans for nature recovery in the valley between now and 2030.

The forum included presentations from Natural England, the National Trust, the Devon Local Nature Partnership and Cornwall Council, as well as the Tamar Valley AONB and Tamara Landscape Partnership team.

The importance of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and County Wildlife Sites for nature recovery in the Tamar Valley was discussed, as well as nature recovery in the working landscape.