Anti-windfarm campaigner wins volunteer award
A tireless Westcountry campaigner against wind farms has been handed a prestigious award by best-selling author and rural champion Bill Bryson.
Bob Barfoot, chairman of the North Devon branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), was recognised for his efforts in opposing the installation of unpopular turbines.
United States-born Bryson, president of the CPRE but best-known for his humourous travel book Notes from a Small Island, presented Mr Barfoot with the Marsh Award and £500 at a ceremony in London.
Mr Bryson said he had been "struck" by the amazing dedication and commitment shown by volunteers.
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"These extraordinary people finish their working week only to sit down and do another week's worth in their spare time," he added.
"When I came to this country I fell in love with the unique character and eccentricities of England's towns and countryside – it's through the work of many volunteers and people like those receiving awards today that these endearing qualities will be preserved."
Mr Barfoot, whose campaigns have dented the hopes of a number of renewable energy developers, admitted he felt honoured. He dedicated the award to "all of the local folk who have done so much work over the years to help defeat these wind farm applications".
"The applications were simply too close to Exmoor National Park," he said.
Mr Barfoot, who formed the Rural Exmoor Alliance, was one of three individual winners selected by the Marsh Christian Trust.
Brian Marsh, chairman of the trust, said: "We set up the award to support just these sorts of grassroots volunteer initiatives."