Ceremony at the Hull Guildhall in East Yorkshire

BEM presented to Andy Schofield

Report from Tristan da Cunha's Head of Conservation Trevor Glass

After nominating Andy Schofield for a New Years Honour award, we are pleased to announce that not only was that nomination successful and that Andy was awarded a BEM (British Empire Medal) in the Kings New Year's Honours list but that medal has now been awarded at a private ceremony in the very fitting famous maritime City of Hull which is near Andy's home in East Yorkshire.

The ceremony was held in the mayor's rooms at the Hull Guildhall Civic Building.

The presentation of the medal was undertaken by His Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of the East Riding of Yorkshire, Mr James Dick, OBE.

East Riding of Yorkshire's Lord-Lieutenant James Dick
with Andy Schofield after the BEM presentation.

Also, in attendance and kindly hosting the ceremony was the Lord Mayor of Kingston upon Hull and Admiral of the Humber, Councillor Kalvin Neal and the Chairman of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Councillor John Whittle, and the Rt. Hon. David Davis MP as an invited guest.

Andy has worked with Tristan Da Cunha for a decade now and has delivered several projects that have not only benefitted the unique and wonderful biodiversity within the Island group but has also worked tirelessly to make those projects deliver for the community too, bringing in vital income and infrastructure to the Island. Building the capacity and the sustainability for projects to deliver once they are finished is important for the Island and this is something Andy works hard to achieve, for example to be able to recycle and re-use project infrastructure for the island to use in perpetuity, such as the polytunnels used for the very successful Scale insect control project are now gifted to the agricultural department for Natasha Glass and Kelly Swain to use them for propagating and growing fresh produce on Island for the benefit of the community.

The one project that stands out is the Tristan Da Cunha Marine Protection Zone designation, this has been a long term project which started almost ten years ago and was a great piece of work by all involved, in particular the Tristan community and their commitment to preserve their ocean that surrounds them for future generations but Andy took this a step further and worked tirelessly to raise support and funds to be able to secure a linked endowment fund to the MPZ worth four million pounds that will give the community and even future generations of Tristanian's an annual income in perpetuity so that the Island Community benefits directly from its momentous announcement it made to the world back in 2020.

Lord Lieutenant James Dick, OBE and Lord Mayor Kalvin Neal and Chairman John Whittle
proudly pointing to their new Tristan Conservation Department pin badges given to them by Andy.

Andy said after the medal presentation, "Although it seems quite a while since the announcement of the award in the New Years Honours list I am still incredibly humbled and proud to have received this award from the people of Tristan Da Cunha, it is the community itself that should be honoured and I share this medal with each and every one of them."

It is also great news that Andy will be continuing to support the Island through his role with RSPB but also as the Tristan Da Cunha Government Environmental Policy Officer for at least the next year.

Further post on the RSPB website highlight's Andy's achievements

We are delighted to share the news that the RSPB's Andy Schofield has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the King's New Year Honours list for his extraordinary contribution to nature conservation and to the community on the UK Overseas Territory of Tristan da Cunha.

Andy was nominated by the Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha community for his 'hands on service' through his charitable work which has made a significant difference to their community.

Andy's career has seen him make a substantial contribution to nature conservation and especially on Tristan da Cunha, the most remote inhabited island in the world.

Most notably Andy supported the community for almost a decade on the long journey to designate an area of ocean almost three times the size of the UK as a no-take Marine Protection Zone, the biggest in the Atlantic Ocean. Tristan's rich waters are home to tens of millions of seabirds including critically endangered albatross species, rockhopper penguins, blue sharks and beaked whales. Andy has spent thousands of hours on Tristan over many years working alongside the community to help them progress their conservation aspirations.

Trevor Glass, Director of Conservation, Tristan da Cunha said "Andy has built our understanding and gained our trust - allowing us to get the MPZ on its feet and designated. Andy is great with the community, he's always helping others, supporting them with things like training and advice. He's been instrumental in finding and securing funds for our conservation work. He's absolutely brilliant and we thank him very much for his work with Tristan."

Andy said "Some of the best, most enjoyable work I have ever done has been working with small communities all over the world, gaining their trust, and giving the community a conservation legacy, that even future generations can benefit from. I think listening to and working with communities is the best, most productive way to get things done!"

Andy has also been instrumental in supporting the island to strengthen biosecurity - managing and preventing invasive species on the Tristan da Cunha archipelago.

Andy has been working for the RSPB for over thirty years, with the last decade focusing on nature conservation in our UK Overseas Territories in the South Atlantic including Tristan da Cunha, Pitcairn Islands and St Helena and Ascension. In his role at the RSPB Andy is currently working with the Tristan community, Government and Blue Nature Alliance on the Atlantic Guardians project to build a strong and sustainable future for the Marine Protection Zone.

On accepting the BEM Andy said "I am incredibly touched and undeniably humbled that the Tristan da Cunha community has put me forward to receive this award! Thank you, Tristan! I will proudly share it with you! You have done all the hard work; I just supported you to reach your islands conservation aspirations."