Mountain Rescue England and Wales chair Mike France

Mountain Rescue England and Wales chair Mike France

The chair of Mountain Rescue England and Wales has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Mike France was appointed and MBE, one of more than a thousand people to be honoured.

Others from the outdoors world in the honours list are Chief Scout Bear Grylls, Mountain Guide Rob Collister and paddlers Mary Conacher and Dave Craig.

Mr France is a member of Woodhead Mountain Rescue Team in West Yorkshire, which he joined in 1970. He has served as team leader and is currently regional incident controller.

He was elected to the chair role with MREW in 2014. He was recognised for services to mountain rescue.

He said: “I feel genuinely honoured and humbled to receive this award.

“As a mountain rescuer you are used to and committed to turning out as and when required in order to help others. To have that work recognised like this is a real honour – not just for me but for all mountain rescuers who selflessly turn out when everyone else is going home.”

Television presenter and adventurer Bear Grylls, who also heads the Scout Association’s membership, was made an OBE in the honours for services to young people, the media and charity.

The Wiltshire-based former serviceman, whose real first name is Edward, said on social media: “Thank you everyone so much for all the amazing messages.

Chief Scout Bear Grylls. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Chief Scout Bear Grylls. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

“Feel blown away and very humbled. For me though, it’s a real team effort this one. We now have over half a million Scouts and volunteers in this country – a force for good – who all give up so much time and energy to help young people.

“This award is truly for all you volunteer heroes.”

Mountain Guide Rob Collister of Conwy was appointed an MBE for services to mountaineering and conservation.

He began guiding in 1976 and was a member of Snowdonia national park’s northern access forum and has been a director of the John Muir Trust and the Mount Everest Foundation.

His book Days to Remember was published in 2016.

Ian Findlay, chief officer of Paths for All, which promotes walking and physical activity for all Scotland’s residents, was appointed a CBE for services to healthy lifestyles and outdoor activities.

Paddlers Mary Conacher and Dave Craig received British Empire Medals.

Blairgowrie-based Ms Conacher, who received the award for services to kayaking and canoeing in Scotland, is a former director of the Scottish Canoeing Association.

Dave Craig, of Newtonmore, who runs whisky-themed paddling expeditions on the River Spey. The paddling guide was honoured for services to outdoor education and canoeing on Speyside.

A total of 1,073 people were recognised in the birthday honours, with 215 receiving the OBE; 399 at MBE; and 306 were awarded the BEM.

The Cabinet Office, which oversees the honours, said 75per cent of the recipients are people who have undertaken outstanding work in their communities either in a voluntary or paid capacity. A total of 47 per cent were women and 10.4 per cent of the successful candidates come from a black and minority ethnic background.

It added that 5.9 per cent of those receiving honours consider themselves to have a disability under the Equality Act 2010; and 2.8 per cent of recipients identified as being LGBT.

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