Ian Armstrong was presented with The Wildlife Trusts’ Christopher Cadbury Medal at a virtual ceremony.
He said: “I was more than astounded to be told the news, and am deeply honoured. There are so many others, in the North East of England alone, who equally deserve this award.”
Ian, from Heddon-on-the-Wall, has been a member of the governing body of Northumberland Wildlife Trust for over 30 years, served as honorary secretary for 10 years and vice chairman for five. He was heavily involved in the creation of the Hauxley nature reserve.
His career in wildlife conservation began in 1973 when he was appointed regional officer in the north of England by the RSPB.
In all of this, he was a pioneer conservationist and naturalist.
He has also spoken out loudly in nature’s defence over the years and continues to do so today, fighting the corner of relentlessly persecuted raptors and other species.
Ian has also has excited many - both at home and abroad, through his personal encounter talks, media work and writings on birds, wildlife and the magic of the natural world.
Peta Foxell, chairman of the Wildlife Trusts, said: “A blend of influencer, practical, strategic, conservationist-ornithologist supremo, Ian Armstrong embodies the pioneering naturalist spirit of the environmental and Wildlife Trust movement and has made a lasting difference in minds and on the ground.”
Mike Pratt, chief executive of Northumberland Wildlife Trust, added: “Ian is a campaigning ornithologist and still vocal on the issue of raptor protection. His work from the early days in conservation is an inspiration to others and us all at Northumberland Wildlife Trust as we enter our 50th year.
“Ian has a unique mix of well-honed field naturalist skills, and a deep understanding of how landscapes, habitats, nature and humans all interact.
“He thoroughly deserves this award and it is an honour to continue to work alongside him in taking conservation forward into the future. It is recognition of a lifetime of conservation effort and success, but he is still doing it too and centrally involved in our new vision for wildlife and people.”