Three Royal Parks' staff receive awards

Three Royal Parks' employees have received awards for lifetime-achievement and conservation.

The Royal Parks Guild awards recognise long service and dedicated support in maintaining standards at its parks, gardens and estates.

John Bickers, who started as a Regent's Park apprentice in 1970 and studied at Southwark College, spent most of his career in the park’s nursery. He is now in charge of the nursery, working for Merediths.

His commendation read: "John is hard working and always prepared to go that extra mile to make sure the plants he grows are of the highest quality. He is a person valued greatly by those he works with."

Ray Allen started at the Royal Parks in 1957 after an apprenticeship at RHS Gardens Wisley. He has worked in several Royal Parks and is acclaimed for his work at Bushy Park where he works as part of the fountains team.

"As well as being a most skilled and expert gardener, Ray’s knowledge of Bushy Park and its history is legendary and he is often said to be the unofficial custodian of the Park," said the guild.

The guild also gave a wildlife conservation award to Pippa Hyde for her contribution across the parks, particularly Bushy Park.

The guild said Hyde had been given the award because her commitment to Bushy Park as a volunteer "shines through not only as chair of the Bushy Park Wildlife Group for many years but as part of the Friends of Bushy Park committee, which she’s been on since its formation in 1990."

The Royal Parks Guild is a membership body made up of current and former staff, contractors and volunteers. The awards are presented annually.

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