Recognition for a Countryside Champion

8th January 2024

We are delighted that our Vice President, Robert Erith TD DL has been awarded a British Empire Medal in the New Year’s Honours List “For services to the Environment in Dedham Vale in Essex and Suffolk”.

Robert was a founding Trustee of Essex Community Foundation (ECF) in 1996, and his experience was of great value in helping to raise awareness of ECF which offered people and businesses a new way of giving to support local charities in Essex.

He was also a High Sheriff of Essex in 1997/98 and he was instrumental in setting up the High Sheriff’s Fund with ECF, with support from past and future High Sheriffs at the time.  The Fund now has an endowed value of around £510,000 and has given away grants totaling nearly £710,000 to a wide range of charities whose work is contributing to community safety in Essex.

Robert has a deep appreciation of nature and a passion for the environment.  He is President of the Dedham Vale Society, and for 11 years was Chair of the Dedham Vale and Stour Valley Partnership between local authorities, government agencies, national organisations and local people.  The aim of this partnership is to conserve and enhance the special qualities of the area.

This award is very well deserved, but as always, Robert is modest in accepting it.  He said, “I have enjoyed giving my time to help protect such an important and historical area on the Essex/Suffolk border that is enjoyed by so many people.  I am thrilled to receive this award, but there are many other people and volunteers involved in protecting and maintaining this wonderful area of outstanding natural beauty.  I hope my award reflects the contribution of them all.”

Robert is also strongly committed to supporting his local community in the village of Lamarsh where he lives.  In 2018 he was instrumental in securing the future of The Lamarsh Lion, which is now a thriving community owned pub.

Congratulations Robert!