Nailsea park campaigner gets OBE at Windsor
A NAILSEA parks campaigner received his OBE from the Queen last week.
Dr Alan Barber, aged 66, of Shipham Close, enjoyed his investiture at Windsor Castle on Tuesday.
The honour recognises his many years of campaigning for better public parks in Britain.
He said: "I had a brief conversation with the Queen, who expressed interest in the work I was doing.
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"I am still campaigning and writing about urban parks because I believe they are so important to the life of towns and cities.
"Their neglect in recent years has been scandalous, especially when they can do so much to encourage healthier lifestyles."
Alan travelled to Windsor with his wife, Councillor Jan Barber, and two daughters, Vanessa and Fiona, who watched the ceremony.
Alan gave evidence to a House of Commons Inquiry into the state of urban parks nearly 10 years ago, and worked with a Government taskforce to find a solution to the neglect.
Alan helped to form the Heritage Lottery Fund's Urban Parks Programme, which has given more than £300 million to public park restoration so far.
Ashton Court, in North Somerset, is one of nearly 500 parks to have benefited.
In 2002 Alan became the first Parks Commissioner with the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment.
Alan also worked as parks manager for Bristol City Council from 1974 to 1992, and the rose garden at Ashton Court was named after him following its redesign last year.
Although Alan, who also used to lecture at Sheffield and Manchester universities in urban landscape management, has now officially retired for health reasons, he is still an active campaigner.
He also helped to found GreenSpace, a national charity dedicated to park improvement.
This charity has recently been given the job of running the Green Flag Award Scheme for parks.