Janet Davis was appointed an OBE

Janet Davis was appointed an OBE

A retired worker for walking charity the Ramblers has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, along with a top fellrunner and a long-serving mountain rescuer.

Janet Davis was appointed an OBE, while Nicky Spinks receives the British Empire Medal and Mick Nield was awarded an MBE.

Ms Davis was a member of the Ramblers staff team based in Dorset and received her honour for services to the environment and walkers.

A Ramblers spokesperson said: “The accolade reflects Janet’s many years of work as a guardian and champion of the path network, as well as her expertise on rights-of-way law and practice.

“Her work has helped thousands of people to access the countryside and enjoy the benefits of walking.

“It also acknowledges Janet’s long career with the Ramblers, where she was employed for more than three decades. Throughout that time, Janet worked on countless path issues, getting involved in legal action and working with legal advisors on high-profile cases through to the House of Lords. Many of these cases created vital legal precedents.”

Ms Davis also offered advice and training to Ramblers volunteers, equipping them with the skills and knowledge to deal with local path problems. During her time with the Ramblers she played a central role in securing better laws to protect public paths, from obstruction and failure to reinstate after ploughing, and in pivotal legal cases which established important principles for the addition of paths to the official maps.

Although Janet Davis has retired from the Ramblers, she is still a member of the Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs stakeholder working group, which worked on the rights-of-way provisions which appear in the Deregulation Act 2015.

The spokesperson said the act makes important changes to the process of recording public rights of way, via a package of reforms that will be beneficial for walkers and landowners alike.

Ms Davis said: “I am a walker myself and so have been incredibly lucky to work in a job which meant I could help to protect and improve our wonderful path network so that everyone can have the opportunity to explore and understand both our countryside and the paths within out towns and cities.

“It was also an enormous privilege to work alongside the Ramblers incredible team of volunteers for so many years and to help them to resolve problems on the path network. The Ramblers is a team and so I am accepting this award for all of them.”

Chair of the Ramblers Kate Ashbrook said: “In her 32 years with the Ramblers Janet quietly and effectively made a huge difference for walkers, by giving our volunteers the confidence to defend the path network and helping them to understand and use the law to the advantage of the walking public.

“Janet, we salute you.”

Ms Davis gained a degree in life sciences and a PhD in freshwater ecology from the Polytechnic of Central London before working at Imperial College, London on environmental policy.

She joined the Ramblers in 1984 to help monitor the implementation and effectiveness of the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act, which had amended the process for creating, changing and recording rights of way. She soon became a specialist on rights-of-way law, as well as an expert on a broad range of policy issues, from agriculture to the environment. She retired from the organisation in 2016.

Mick Nield was appointed an MBE for his services to mountain rescue and to the community in Greater Manchester.

Mr Nield, of Ashton-under-Lyne, stepped down as leader of Oldham Mountain Rescue Team in March 2017. He continues as an active team member and is also a Search and Rescue Dogs Association handler.

At the time, a team spokesperson said: “Mick has been the driving force behind the team for 25 years and has made Oldham MRT what it is today; an efficient, capable and well respected mountain rescue team.

“Leading a team of mountain rescue volunteers successfully for such a long period is no easy task and is not commonplace within MR circles. His skills, experience and dedication are unrivalled within the team and they will be sorely missed within the management group.”

Nicky Spinks. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Nicky Spinks. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Nicky Spinks was awarded the British Empire Medal for her services to sport and charity.

The Yorkshire-based ultrarunner holds the record for completing a double Bob Graham Round in the Lake District and has also held records for two other long-distance challenges, the Paddy Buckley Round and the Ramsay Round.

The 51-year-old farmer celebrated her 50th birthday last year by smashing the record for the 50-mile Joss Naylor Lakeland Challenge.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 39 and now raises funds for Odyssey, a charity that helps enhance the quality of life for people with cancer. Her JustGiving page has so far collected £15,000 for Odyssey.

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