A former top policeman turned businessman has sponsored an award which has honoured the green efforts of a youngster from Wednesfield.
Keith Walker, who set up Recognition Express North Staffordshire when he retired from Staffordshire Police just over four years ago, has sponsored the Young Persons Award handed out by the Staffordshire Rural Policing Liaison Group for the second year running.
Mr Walker sponsored the award which was picked up by eight-year-old Grace Abbotts at an awards ceremony last week. Grace was nominated by her friends and family for the work she has done in her garden creating havens and habitats for local wildlife. She created a pond in her garden to encourage frogs to breed and has also attracted newts and snails. She also planted around the pond with mainly wild species to attract birds, mice and hedgehogs.
Grace is an avid birdwatcher and can identify the different species, particularly birds of prey which are her favourites. She is a member of the RSPB, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and is an active supporter of a horse rescue group where she recently sponsored a horse named Sampson.
Keith, 53 who runs Recognition Express North Staffs with his son Rob, was a superintendent with Staffordshire Police when he retired. He spent 30 years with the police and decided to go into business with his son when he hung up his uniform.
Mr Walker said: “I came into contact with the group during my time with the police and worked very closely with them. The work that they do is very important and worthwhile and I was always impressed with their commitment and efforts. The work that the group does in the countryside is very important and something well worth supporting.
When I left the police I stayed in touch with the liaison group and when the chance came up to sponsor the awards I was only too happy to help.
Faye Burton, founder of the Staffordshire Rural Policing Liaison Group said: “I have known Keith since 2002 and he has always been so supportive of our group. He loves wildlife as much as I do, so when he offered to sponsor the award I couldn’t have been more delighted.”