Oiled birds saviour Jean honoured by the Queen
SOUTH Devon Seabird Trust founder Jean Bradford has been made an MBE in the New Year's Honours List.
Jean, with her husband Roger, has been caring for sick and oiled seabirds since 1983.
She has been honoured with an MBE for services to animal welfare.
Jean, 72, said: "I am absolutely thrilled. I have had my head in the clouds since I found out."
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Since founding the trust, Jean has washed more than 1,500 oiled birds and nursed countless more.
The trust used to be based at Jack's Patch garden centre at Bishopsteignton where it had a 300-capacity rescue centre.
But it has now scaled back to where it all began — the couple's home in Teignmouth.
They have capacity for 100 birds, but sometimes the bathroom has had to be commandeered.
Jean said the numbers of birds in her care has dropped from about 100 every winter to about 40 in an entire year.
She is currently caring for three guillemots, but lower numbers may not be as good as it seems.
It could be there are less oil spills or it could be bird numbers overall are dwindling.
The trust releases 74 per cent of its birds back to the wild.
Jean said: "I am very proud and it may sound big-headed but we are the best there is.
"We have shown oiled birds can survive. In the past euthanasia was seen as the only solution."
Jean's contribution to the rescue and rehabilitation of seabirds affected by oil spills is nationally and internationally recognised.
She takes in birds from across the south and elsewhere in the UK, including treating birds affected by the MSC Napoli and Sea Empress disasters, and her facilities are used by the local RSPB and RSPCA.
Jean, who set up the trust after taking early retirement as a secretary at Devon and Teignbridge councils, said she has no immediate plans to retire.
"Over the years I have thought now might be a good time to retire, but the trouble is even though you are getting older you still think you are 18 years old and you are going to live forever," she said.
"I am very fortunate we have been training up people and we have found someone in Hampshire who has really been coming forward so maybe we will take a back seat and assist instead.
"But I know people who are involved with animal rescue who are still going well into their 80s and I think as long as I can still get about then I will be doing this."
Other South Devon honours included an MBE for Marilyn Kelly for charitable services in Newton Abbot.
Alan Bedford Smith, chairman of Pipex Ltd, was also given an MBE for services to the manufacturing industry in Newton Abbot.
Paignton-based Richard Turpin, vice chairman of benevolent fund Hospitality Action and chairman of Ark Foundation, was given an MBE for charitable services to the hospitality industry.
Newton Abbot-based Diana Nicholls was awarded a BEM for services to the community along with Lorraine Tucker of Torquay.
Former Torbay resident and Torquay Boys' Grammar School student Professor Ian David Diamond, who is now vice chancellor of Aberdeen University, was given a knighthood for services to social science and education.