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Regional daily writer given conservation honour

© RICHARD AUSTIN 2002MARTIN HESPPHOTO:  © RICHARD AUSTINA renowned environment specialist on a regional daily has been honoured for his work in promoting conservation.

Martin Hesp, editor-at-large at Plymouth’s Western Morning News, was given the Exmoor Society’s accolade for his continuing work in promoting the National Park in Devon.

Martin, pictured left, received the Samuel Foss Conservation Award at the society’s annual general meeting, which he described as “a proud moment”.

Society chairman Rachel Thomas told members at the meeting Martin’s love of Exmoor “shines through the fine sensitivity of his writings”.

She said: “Martin Hesp, through his long career in journalism and as editor-at-large for the Western Morning News, has promoted Exmoor’s National Park status for decades.

“Regular articles on a variety of topics appear with such consistency that lesser souls would have run out of ideas by now.

“Martin has defended national parks, particularly when the concept has been under attack.”

This year marks the 60th anniversary of Exmoor’s designation as a National Park.

Martin said: “I am immensely proud to have been nominated for this award and accept it partly on behalf of the Western Morning News, which does so much to support rural life, landscape preservation and conservation across the West Country.

“But this is a particularly proud moment for me as I was born and bred in the Exmoor area and still live inside the national park, which I truly believe is one of the great jewels in Britain’s landscape.”