Squirrel stalwart collects honour

Winners of the Red Squirrel Survival Trust's (RSST) Volunteer of the Year Awards 2012 were at Alnwick Castle in Northumberland to receive their awards. With His Grace the Duke of Northumberland are  Sally Hardy (Ponteland), Jackie Foot, Miles Barne RSST Chairman.
Winners of the Red Squirrel Survival Trust's (RSST) Volunteer of the Year Awards 2012 were at Alnwick Castle in Northumberland to receive their awards. With His Grace the Duke of Northumberland are Sally Hardy (Ponteland), Jackie Foot, Miles Barne RSST Chairman.

A PONTELAND woman who was nationally honoured for efforts to protect red squirrels at a local and regional level has picked up her award.

Winners of the Red Squirrel Survival Trust’s (RSST) Volunteer of the Year Awards were invited to Alnwick Castle to receive their certificates and plaques from His Grace the Duke of Northumberland.

The group included Sally Hardy of Ponteland and Jackie Foott from Sedburgh, who were joint winners in the Leading Light category for their contribution in setting up Northern Red Squirrels, which brings independent voluntary groups together across the North East and Cumbria.

Mrs Hardy is also the co-ordinator of Ponteland Red Squirrels, which works to maintain and increase the population of reds in the Ponteland and Darras Hall areas and raise awareness of the need to support them to prevent them being wiped out.

RSST Chairman Miles Barne said: “These awards are long overdue as we have all known for many years that without the passion, determination and sheer hard work of volunteers throughout the UK, over many years, our red squirrel conservation programme would be in a very different place today.”