The Derek Moore Award
The Derek Moore Award is presented in recognition of outstanding service to Suffolk’s environment. The award commemorates a nature conservation icon, one of the most influential figures in the shaping of modern wildlife protection and appreciation. Suffolk-born Derek Moore rose to the top of - and fuelled - the UK’s environmental movement, directing Suffolk Wildlife Trust through its transformation into one of the most respected nature conservation bodies in Britain. He went on to head up the conservation department of what was to become known as the Wildlife Trusts, the umbrella organisation that unites all 47 UK wildlife trusts. Derek Moore was a pioneer campaigner, promoting the cause of environmental education in its very early days, leading the way in opening up nature reserves to people and seeing the vital importance of engaging the farming community in conservation. Derek became the epitome of the new breed of naturalist-conservationist – passionate, driven and doggedly determined to protect nature against any threat it faced, and in 1999 was awarded an OBE for his services to nature conservation. This special award honours the extraordinary legacy of achievement of one of the finest-ever ambassadors for wildlife conservation, and his inspirational ambition and passion to safeguard wildlife.
Winner of the 2016 Derek Moore Award - PC Mark Bryant
Mark Bryant is Suffolk Police’s Rural Crime and Wildlife Officer and provides a vital service for Suffolk’s rural communities and its wildlife. Coming from a farming family near Halesworth that was always his career of choice but, with limited opportunities available to him he joined the police force in 1986. His practical knowledge of agriculture led to him advising on farming matters and agricultural road safety and this developed into a rural beat officer’s role.
In 2002 he became heavily involved in the policing of Hare Coursing which though legal at the time was causing a great many issues to landowners such as poaching, trespassing and other associated crimes. He led a brave new approach of the policing of hare coursing including the seizing and crushing of vehicles and was recognised nationally for his work. Suffolk’s approach was adopted by other forces across the country and when the Hunting Act was introduced, Mark was recognised as an expert on how the legislation could be practically policed on the ground. Again Suffolk’s approach was adopted by other forces and Mark taught the Hunting Act and its policing to many other officers up and down the country.
As Suffolk’s Rural Crime Officer, Mark works with rural communities, farmers and landowners giving rural safety and crime reduction advice from telephone scams to church roof lead thefts, farm security and farm vehicle road safety. His work covers Hare Coursing, Barn Owl thefts, Deer Poaching, Hunting, Raptor Persecution and lost animals of all sizes. He also tackles anti-social rural crimes such as fly-tipping, illegal raves, illegal off-roading by motorbikes and 4wd vehicles with common sense from his understanding and compassion for the countryside. He is determined that his work goes further than what he does on the ground and training other officers in rural issues is a key part of his job.
Linking with national organisations such as BASC and NGO has been a key part of the training he delivers as young officers, many with urban backgrounds, are given insight into the law and practicalities of firearms licensing, country sports, poaching and its effect on the rural economy and animal cruelty and this has led to a Rural and Wildlife Crime module being added to new police officers’ training.
Suffolk Constabulary is very fortunate to have a Police Officer who is so dedicated and committed to tackling rural crime. Mark’s high level of knowledge is used effectively to advise peers as well as Police Commanders to ensure Suffolk Constabulary continues to be a Police Force that is held in high regard.
Mark was instrumental in setting up the rural crime team. The team now uses fully liveried 4 x 4 vehicles to police Suffolk’s rural communities. Mark helped to arrange a rural crime conference to ensure awareness of rural crime was increased amongst his colleagues. He is well respected by farmers, landowners and rural businesses because of his enthusiasm and support.
He has worked closely with the Police legal team to ensure that legislation is used effectively and whilst always operating within the law has ensured that boundaries are pushed to ensure organised crime is tackled which we know has caused some criminals to stay out of Suffolk.
Mark Bryant has led the way in giving the rural community the reassurance that they are not forgotten by Suffolk Constabulary at a time of cuts and cost savings. The farmers, landowners, rural residents, conservationists and wildlife enthusiasts have the confidence that rural issues and wildlife crime are taken seriously, led by a man who cares passionately about the county of Suffolk, its countryside and the wildlife in it. Mark retires this summer leaving a huge legacy to the county and very big boots to fill.