This award, first presented in 2012 by Her Majesty the Queen on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee, is given to individuals who, “without expectation of recognition or reward, have given freely of their own time and made a significant contribution towards maintaining and improving the environment and rural economy of the New Forest though conservation, education innovation or leadership.”
This year’s winner, Mr Billy Howells has been a commoner all his life and is a talented woodsman having worked for the Forestry Commission for over 30 years. His passion and knowledge of the Forest, its rural crafts and ways is immense and his willingness to share this knowledge for the benefit of the Forest and the wider forest community make him a worthy recipient of this award.
He was described by those proposing him for the award as “an extremely modest person; One of the most genuine, helpful and kindest men you would have the pleasure of knowing always willing to lend a helping hand if needed. He is an inspiration to all commoners new or old and is a true gentleman”
William Ziegler, Chairman of the Trust said “Billy’s contribution to the New Forest and commoning over the years has been enormous, and it is a pleasure to see this award go to someone who so richly deserves it.”