Marsh Award for RBST Volunteer of the Year
This is an Award which was set up in partnership with RBST to recognise support group volunteers who help promote rare breeds throughout the UK, put on shows and raise funds for events. RBST has around 25 groups made up volunteers dedicated to rare breed conservation.
RBST is a registered charity devoted to the conservation of rare breeds. Since the Trust was founded in 1973 no breeds have become extinct in the UK. RBST co-ordinates membership, fundraising, campaigns and various conservation projects throughout the UK.
The 2016 winners are Sula Gibbard and John and Anne Lane
Sula Gibbard has run the Somerset Support Group almost single-handedly for many years and has also been a helper for RBST at a number of shows, also helping to establish the Sedgemoor RBST show and sale. She has been key in implementing and maintaining the schemes for TB isolation in the area and has helped a number of younger people become more heavily involved with the RBST through her work with Brymore School. Sula has also bred registered pigs in the past and actively highlights the need for conservation grazing in Somerset.
John and Anne Lane have been members of RBST since 1991, joining following the purchase of their first North Ronaldsey sheep, and since then have been active members of the Lancashire Support Group. They show their sheep regularly as competitors and also at displays within the group, and are always happy to promote the breed and the RBST with great enthusiasm. As well as sheep, they now also breed several different poultry and have also bred a Dartmoor pony.
Anne was Secretary of the North Ronaldsey Fellowship for many years and together with John, produced many leaflets and pamphlets for members. They also produced the newsletter for the Lancashire Group. They have hosted many workshops for the group and provide the venue and refreshments for the Committee meetings.
John and Anne have always been willing to help and share with the group and have worked tirelessly for the RBST passing on their vast knowledge. They are now moving away from the area and the Award was seen by the panel as a good way of recognising so many years of service.
Pictured: Top - Sula Gibbard receiving her Award from Richard Broad, RBST Field Officer. Bottom - John and Anne Lane receiving their Award from Peter Titley, MCT Ambassador and former President of the RBST (left)
The Rare Breeds Survival Trust