Trust stalwarts receive honours

Congratulations are in order as two eminent members of the Trust, Jean Paton and Stella Turk, receive well-deserved MBEs this year in recognition of their work for wildlife.

Jean Paton

Jean Paton is a founder member of the then Cornwall Naturalists' Trust. A dedicated member, her involvement includes being a member of Council, the first Conservation Officer (unpaid) and the organiser of many field excursions.

Jean has published or co-authored 86 scientific papers and her books include Wild Flowers of Cornwall and the Isles ofScilly (1968) and Flowers of the Cornish Coast (1970). She wrote the text to accompany her husband Pat's paintings in the glorious Magnolias in Cornish Gardens (2001), while her definitive account The Liverwort Flora of the British Isles (1999) won two prestigious awards, has sold world-wide and was described by a reviewer as the 'best liverwort flora ever published in Europe'. Jean and her husband are members of several natural history and garden organisations and have contributed records to many county (over 22,000 records!) and national Record Schemes.

Stella Turk

Stella Turk, born in the Isles of Scilly, worked with her husband Dr Frank Turk in adult education, then with the Cornish Biological Records Unit which he set up in the 1970s. In the 1980s Stella became its Honorary Academic Director and worked full-time with volunteers, paid workers and members of the public to record Cornish wildlife, m 1997 the CBRU moved from the University of Exeter's Institute of Cornish Studies to the Cornwall Wildlife Trust.

Stella's main interests are reflected in her two books. Seashore Life in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and Collecting Shells. She also wrote a nature column for The West Briton for many years and is author or coauthor of a number of scientific papers as well as articles to various newsletters.

Although she officially retired in 1994, Stella still works on a voluntary basis virtually full-time

from home taking calls and reports for the strandings database. She records anything found dead on the shore, particularly marine mammals but also fish, birds and even seeds and fruits from overseas. Her dedication and her inspiration to others has been recognised in the form of several previous honours, including being made a Bard -of the Gorsedd, receiving an Honorary MSc from the University of Exeter and being awarded the Zoological Society of London's Stamford Raffles silver medal.

Stella will be awarded her MBE at the Open Day at Two Burrows next to Five Acres, Allet, planned for 21st August.

Rowena Millar

Stella Turk in her garden
Stella Turk in her garden. Photo: Cornwall Wildlife Trust