A PUBLISHED author, an insect enthusiast, a photographer and a naturalist from Wyre Forest have all received awards for helping wildlife in the district.

The four were among 31 people to be recognised at Worcestershire Wildlife Trust's third Wildlife Hero Awards at Lower Smite Farm on January 30.

Among those is Bewdley-based Chris Bradley, who has dedicated 50 years of his life to studying deer in the Wyre Forest.

His book published in the 1990s, The Realm of The Fallow Buck, remains relevant today.

Kidderminster Shuttle: The 31 winning Wildlife HeroesThe 31 winning Wildlife Heroes

Chris, aged 66, who is chairman of The Wyre Forest Society, told The Shuttle: "I've been studying deer since I was 12 years old. My parents lived on the edge of the Wyre Forest so I've been going in the forest since a very early age.

"These days it's more difficult to find the deer because of the disturbance to the forest. It's changed massively since the 1970s and they're very shy creatures.

"Once someone has been round there with a dog, that clears the forest of deer.

"We've got a situation now where most deer are not grazing in woodland but on private land and in gardens. It's caused problems.

"They can't survive in the forest now because they need to lie undisturbed for hours and that just isn't happening because the wildlife doesn't get any peace. We've got a big problem with mountain bikers and people riding in the forest at night."

Chris also works alongside the Forestry Commission and is asked for his views before any cull of deer is carried out.

Another local to win an award is Kidderminster's Liam Crowley, who visits schools to inspire children about bees and other insects.

He also, along with his co-host Nick, produces and stars in an informative free podcast called Entocast about invertebrates.

Photographer Dave Williams was also recognised at the ceremony for his magnificent pictures of flora and fauna around the Spennells estate.

His shots have helped to raise awareness of the rich variety of natural resources in Kidderminster and proved invaluable to residents involved in the recent campaign to prevent fields from being used for development.

Dave regularly shares his photographs with the Advertiser and Shuttle Camera Club under his Spennells Pensioner tag and has seen his images shared on TV during the BBC weather forecast.

Rosemary Winnall, from Bewdley, received an award for being the driving force behind the Wyre Forest Study Group, which is responsible for raising the profile of the area and documenting its importance.

She is today recognised as one of Worcestershire's top naturalists because of her encyclopaedic knowledge about the county's natural environment.

The four Wildlife Heroes were presented with a certificate and specially-commissioned pin badge by the trust's director Colin Raven.

Sadie Carr Simons, awards organiser, said: "It was an absolute delight to meet so many people who are doing important things for wildlife where they live.

“These are the people who really are making a difference for wildlife – from the nine year old who inspires classmates and other young people or the farmer who allows the local school to visit his wildflower meadows to champions of green initiatives in their area or groups of people determined to help wildlife in their community.

“This is the third awards ceremony that we’ve held and, with the backdrop of significant declines in our wildlife, it’s so heartening to see that so many people care enough to take positive action to help.”

Nominations are now open for the 2021 awards. Details on how to nominate someone can be found at worcswildlifetrust.co.uk/wildlife-heroes or by contacting Sadie on 01905 754919 or sadie@worcestershirewildlifetrust.org.