This is an archived press release
Thursday 26 June 2014
A Peak District National Park volunteer ranger's contribution in helping protect the countryside has been acknowledged in the Prime Minister's Points of Lights awards.
The Points of Light awards recognise outstanding individual volunteers – people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others.
Seventy-seven year old Roger Mottram, from Stoke on Trent, has won the award after dedicating his retirement to maintaining the Peak District National Park as a volunteer. He received a certificate and a personal letter from Prime Minister David Cameron.
In the letter, Prime Minister David Cameron said: "You have dedicated your retirement to the upkeep of one of the most beautiful parts of the British countryside. Despite serious illness you have shown extraordinary dedication in returning to your volunteering and helping to ensure that people can continue to enjoy the Peak District."
Roger carries out around 30 ranger duties per year and covers the shifts of other volunteers despite suffering a heart attack 3 years ago. Doctors told him it was his work as a volunteer, which had kept him so fit, that played a significant part in keeping him alive.
He said: "Volunteering saved my life. I love the National Park and everything to do with it. I get great pleasure in volunteering and looking after something. The rangers always support me and find me something to do.
"I love the moors and I want to give something back, I can do this by helping others to enjoy it as much as I do and helping keep the moors in a good condition so they are always here for people in the future.
"I feel privileged to be able to carry on being a volunteer. I like meeting members of the public and helping people. I hope I can carry on volunteering with the rangers as long as I am allowed after all I am only a young lad at 77. I cannot walk very far now so I put bands on gates, make special size gates, and look after the tools."
Roger 's help in protecting the national park's special environment includes welcoming visitors at the car parks, clearing litter and he is expert at fixing broken tools belonging to the conservation team.
Cllr Tony Favell, chair of the Peak District National Park Authority said: "Roger Mottram is an inspiration to all. His enthusiasm and willingness to help others is wonderful and he deserves the recognition for his efforts."
Roger Mottram is one of 280 National Park volunteer rangers who turn out throughout the year, in their own time, in all weathers to work in many different ways to help make the national park special for everyone.
For people inspired by Rogers story who want to start giving something back to the Peak District National Park and become a volunteer ranger go to www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/ranger-training or call 01629 816200.
More information about volunteering opportunities can be found at www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/volunteering.
Points of Light winners are found by a network of volunteers, including National Citizen Service graduates and members of the Step up to Serve coalition or are nominated by members of the public who write to the Prime Minister www.gov.uk/government/collections/points-of-light-awards.
Picture caption – Volunteer ranger Roger Mottram, dedicated to protecting the national park