Our two longest serving members of staff have had their combined 78 years' service honoured with the Landscapes for Life Award. This national award from the National Association of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty recognises those who have contributed 20 years or more to the conservation and enhancement of AONBs.
Philip (Sid) Kennett has been the face of Chichester Harbour in Emsworth for 47 years. Sid says "It's not work - it's a way of life and I enjoy every minute of it. Chichester Harbour AONB is first class. It's a place where people come to enjoy themselves - it is unique!" Sid works principally on the water, helping the yachtsmen to enjoy the Harbour.
In recent years, he has been involved with the operation of two of the Conservancy's vessels, the oyster boat Terror, and the solar-powered catamaran, Solar Heritage. The feedback he receives on a daily basis is overwhelmingly positive and friendly. Richard Craven, the Harbour Master and Acting Conservancy Manager, said "Sid really has taken ownership of the Emsworth part of the Harbour. Whether that is rescuing swans, salvaging sunken vessels, or repairing the sea wall, he does so willingly and with a smile on his face. He's a local character who is a legend in his own lifetime."
Michael Ward joined Chichester Harbour Conservancy in 1984. Based in Itchenor, Michael is the Harbour Technician and Barge Master. He looks after the maintenance of all the Harbour vessels, navigational marks, lights and moorings, skippers the moorings barge and is also part of the Harbour Patrol. A long-term colleague, Hazel Blood said "Michael's got an amazing knowledge of the AONB and takes everything in his stride. He's a kind, considerate and respected person, with a good sense of humour, and is well liked by us all." Michael said "Chichester Harbour is wonderful at any time of the year, I love working here! My favourite walk is along the beach at East Head."
The awards were presented on 2nd July at the Annual Conference of the National Association of AONBs that took place in Winchester. They both received a certificate and a copy of the Landscape Photographer of the Year book courtesy of Visit Britain.