European recognition for Arthur Mitchell

31st October, 2012

The EUROPARC Federation has recognised the enormous contribution to nature conservation in Northern Ireland and Europe made by Arthur Mitchell of the Mourne Heritage Trust.

In a ceremony on 25th October 2012 at the annual EUROPARC conference Dr Mitchell was awarded the Alfred Toepfer medal, which is awarded each year by the Federation to celebrate the contribution made by outstanding figures in Europe’s protected areas. The tribute speech was given by Tony Gates, Chief Executive of the Northumberland National Park and a former colleague of Arthur Mitchell.

Highlighted in particular were Arthur Mitchell’s commitment to a participatory approach to the protection and enhancement of natural landscapes; his role in fostering partnerships between the public and private sectors, which led to the Mournes becoming the first UK protected area to be awarded the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas; his focus and vision that was also instrumental in rural areas acquiring support from the EU’s peace fund in 2004. The tribute, with the use of wonderful pictures from points throughout Arthur Mitchell’s life, brought home his vision, humanity, belief in people and commitment to protected landscapes.

Dr Arthur Mitchell with EUROPARC President Thomas Hansson at the award ceremony.