TWO people from the Forest have been recognised in the New Year's Honours List.

Zehra Zaidi of Longhope received the OBE for her work in international development, humanitarian action and community cohesion.

Dr Andy Stott of Stott, who was science advisor to the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) received the MBE for services to nature and climate.

Ms Zaidi has campaigned to improve the visibility of under-represented groups in British institutions.

She also founded We Too Built Britain to create a greater sense of cohesion and belonging.

In 2020 she worked with the Royal Mint on the design of a “Diversity Built Britain” 50p coin.

A subsequent “Hidden Heroes” campaign called on MPs from every constituency to ask local people to nominate lesser-known heroes who deserve to be remembered with a statue.

She has also worked with sculptor Harry Gray on the Covid Star People’s Medal and with various community groups and MPs on a proposal for an artwork in Parliament to honour key workers who served the nation during the pandemic, as well as a forest of remembrance memorial.

Ms Zaidi also launched, at the Chelsea Flower Show, the first official rose dedicated to an ethnic minority person in the UK as a symbol of friendship, community and tolerance.

John Ystumllyn was the first well-documented black person in North Wales and one of Britain’s first black gardeners.

She also launched “We Planted Britain” a gardening scheme to enhance community connections and improve mental well-being.

She also co-founded ‘Action for Afghanistan’ to help resettle Afghan refugees, and act as a cross-party think tank on humanitarian action, the rights of women and minority groups, and resettlement.

Ms Zaidi works at Dark Matter Labs on international development, global governance and climate change.

She said; ““I’m still a little in shock – it’s a huge honour to be recognised in this way and I want to thank everyone in the Forest who has supported me and my campaigns over the years.

"We live in difficult times and I hope this award amplifies some of the campaigns that I work on.”

Dr Andy Stott recently retired from DEFRA after 30 years where he advised on biodiversity, nature recovery, land use, climate change and environmental statistics.

He was a lead negotiator for the UK at the United Nations Biodiversity Summit in Montreal – leading on the conservation targets for the new Global Biodiversity Framework and co-chair of the contact group which negotiated its monitoring and review mechanisms.

In the domestic arena, he led the evidence review and development of the outcome indicator framework for the 25 Year Environment Plan in England and the evaluation of Nature Improvement Areas.