Val Hepworth awarded British Empire Medal

Congratulations to Val Hepworth, who has been awarded the British Empire Medal in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours. Val was a founding member of Yorkshire Gardens Trust and a former Chairman of the Association of Gardens Trusts. We are delighted that her many years of dedicated service to landscape conservation have been recognised in this way.

Val received the award for services to Yorkshire Gardens Trust and conservation in Yorkshire. She commented: “I am profoundly honoured to have received this award. As part of the founding Yorkshire Gardens Trust (Yorks GT) team I have sought to protect and promote the Yorkshire landmarks and views treasured by so many, and to nurture those skilled people (architects, craftsmen, gardeners, farmers and property owners) who care for them. Yorkshire and more widely the UK really does offer something for everybody but the County Gardens Trusts, and in our case Yorks GT, play a vital role.

Yorks GT has achieved an enormous amount: a small charity comprising largely volunteers and yet covering one of the largest counties, it is the statutory consulting body for historic landscape conservation and planning matters throughout Yorkshire; a not insignificant task. Our numerous successes over the past 23 years have been achieved only by the ongoing efforts of many people including dear friends now departed; I have been privileged to work with so many outstanding specialists.”

Steffie Shields said “I can think of no-one more deserving of this honour than Val. She has been (and long may she continue to be) a superb, hard-working colleague and mentor dedicated to the cause of garden conservation over many, many years of service not only to Yorks GT but also sharing here expertise, friendship (and cakes!) with Northumberland GT and, as AGT Chairman, with the entire County Gardens Trust network.”

Dr James Bartos, Chairman of the Gardens Trust, added “We warmly congratulate Val on this well-deserved accolade. The important conservation work of the County Gardens Trusts is dependent on the work of dedicated volunteers like her, who help to protect the historic gardens and landscapes that are such an important part of our heritage.”

Photo: North East Life

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Painswick Roccoco Gardens, the Red House, Photo © Joab Smith