All Ireland Director at The Rivers Trust receives MBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours
Mark Horton, Chief Executive of Ballinderry Rivers Trust and All-Ireland Director at The Rivers Trust has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for his services to conservation. Mark has played a significant role in protecting and improving the river environment and has successfully led the way in supporting a number of Rivers Trusts set up on the island of Ireland. As Chief Executive of Ballinderry Rivers Trust, a charity dedicated to the conservation, protection and enjoyment of the Ballinderry River, Lough Neagh and the loughs western shore streams covering some 1000km2 of mid-Ulster. Mark directs the Trust’s activities and projects which include catchment-based water quality and habitat restoration projects; conservation breeding programmes for trout, salmon, freshwater pearl mussel and white-clawed crayfish; community engagement in catchment planning and management; education and outreach and applied research in conservation biology and river ecology. He is a member of the Institute of Fisheries Management and before becoming the Chief Executive of Ballinderry Rivers Trust, he held the position of River Catchment Projects Coordinator for the Trust for eight years. Previous to this, Mark worked for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) as a Cartographer on the Countryside Stewardship Scheme and with environmental charity’s Groundwork (Black Country) and Conservation Volunteers Northern Ireland and is a graduate of the University of Wales, Aberystwyth (BSc Geography) and the University of Leeds (MSc Catchment Dynamics and Management). Mark said: “I am shocked and incredibly humbled to have been awarded this fantastic honour. The work that I have been involved in over the years would not have been possible without the support and involvement of so many other people and so I want to thank everyone for all their hard work in helping to protect and improve the Ballinderry River and its precious wildlife, and pay tribute to people working across the whole of the UK and Ireland to protect our waterways.” Alistair Maltby, Operations Director at The Rivers Trust, said: “We are so proud that our friend and colleague Mark has been honoured for his tireless work at Ballinderry Rivers Trust, and his dedication to supporting the growth of the Rivers Trust movement across the island of Ireland. Mark is an all-round river hero, for whom saving our environment is far more than a job. Congratulations Mark, from all of us across the Rivers Trust movement, and thank you for your support and contagious enthusiasm."