Alan Titchmarsh MBE, paid a visit to Marwell Zoo last week for the formal presentation of its Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Sustainable Development.
Mr Titchmarsh attended in his capacity as Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Hampshire, along with fellow Deputy Lieutenant Simon Tufnell on Tuesday 14 March.
Presenting the award, Mr Titchmarsh said: “Her Majesty The Queen made these awards, as we assume His Majesty The King will make them in the future, with the advice of the Prime Minister who is assisted by an advisory committee which includes representatives of Government, industry, commerce and of trade unions, so it’s a fairly broad ranging group of people who decides who receives them.
“They were announced annually on The Queen’s birthday, the 21st April, subsequent events will lead you to understand why there has been a delay in this presentation, which in a way is all the more poignant since the death of Her Majesty The Queen and you will be one of the last recipients of The Queens Award for Enterprise, which I think in a way, makes it that much more special.”
He explained that only 7 such awards were given in Hampshire in 2022, an achievement he said the county of Hampshire is proud of.
Mr Titchmarsh continued: “Over many years Marwell has demonstrated, quite clearly, its dedication to sustainability and to conservation, two aspects of our lives which have quite rightly been regarded as of prime importance in the current climate, which is something of a complex scenario at the moment.
“The need to cherish and sustain all aspects of the natural world is something very close to my heart. The world begins at our front door and the first steps into it take us, I hope, into the garden, the microcosm of nature that’s so often overlooked and under rated while we worry about the global picture.
“Success in nature conservation, I reckon, begins with the particular, rather than the general. It’s here that we can make a real and tangible difference, as Marwell knows, through its conservation and sustainability initiatives.
“I always think it’s such a shame that we use such big and unwieldy words to describe something that’s as basic as looking after the earth and the tiny part of it that is our own responsibility.
“There’s great joy to be found in stewardship and husbandry, two words that have fallen out of general use in recent years but which are as vital today, if not more so, than they’ve ever been.
“Those of you at Marwell understand that and know the rewards of playing a part in contributing to a vibrant future for our planet, our country, our county, and the patch of it that Marwell occupies.”
The award, which was announced last year, was due to be presented in September but was unfortunately postponed due to the period of mourning after The Queen’s death.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II gave Marwell Wildlife the royal seal of approval in recognition of the charity’s achievements in biodiversity conservation, education and sustainability.
The award citation made particular reference to the charity’s work reintroducing scimitar-horned oryx, which had previously been classified as Extinct in the Wild, to its natural range in Tunisia.
Extensive work to harness energy from zoo poo to power the heating systems in the zoo’s largest buildings, an initiative that helped the zoo achieve carbon negative status.
Marwell’s Chief Executive, James Cretney said: “While we are all thrilled at receiving this award and the recognition it brings to Marwell’s conservation work, we were naturally delighted that someone so inspiring, with such a love and deep knowledge of nature such as Alan, was able to officially grant us the award.”