Borders Forest Trust founder honoured

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Native woodlands charity, Borders Forest Trust (BFT) honoured one of its founding trustees, Dr Philip Ashmole, with an award at its AGM in St Boswells earlier this month.

Project coordinator for the trust’s Carrifran Wildwood in the Moffat Hills, Dr Ashmole presented long service certificates and honorary life membership of BFT to Carrifran volunteers for 10 years, Malcolm Ross, Les Forster, Robin Sloan, John Savory and Stan Tanner.

He was then surprised by trust chairman Steve Sloan, who presented him with the trust’s Exceptional Service Award.

Mr Sloan said: “Founder member of both the wildwood and the trust, Dr Ashmole has been a steadfast member of our board of trustees, a leading figure and an inspiration for conservation to all who meet him. We also recognise the service and individual contribution of Myrtle Ashmole, Philip’s wife.”

The former lecturer, who lives near Peebles, has a degree in zoology and a doctorate in seabird ecology, and taught ornithology, ecology and evolution at Yale and Edinburgh universities before retiring early, aged 58, in 1992.

He was involved in ecological and conservation projects on Atlantic islands and, with Myrtle, published two books on island natural history.

The pair also wrote a book about Carrifran Wildwood, entitled The Carrifran Wildwood Story, which came out in 2009.

More than 40 members and visitors attended BFT’s 18th annual general meeting at the Buccleuch Arms Hotel.