Countryside champion

Western Morning News editor Barrie Williams has received royal recognition for his work championing the rights of countryside communities in the South West.

Royal recognition: Williams, right, receives a book from Tidmarsh

Williams was given a Prince of Wales Ambassadors award from the Lord Lieutenant of Bristol, Jay Tidmarsh, at a banquet in Bristol. Williams had earlier visited Highgrove with seven other ambassadors from around the UK to receive personal thanks from the Prince.

The Lord Lieutenant acknowledged that, under Williams’s editorship, the paper had “become widely regarded as a champion of the countryside” and paid tribute to the West Country editor’s energy, zeal and commitment to rural issues.

Williams, who became editor of the paper in 1995, ran a number of highprofile campaigns in the wake of the foot and mouth crisis, as well as leading a media campaign for a public inquiry into the affair.

The Prince of Wales, who is president of Business in the Community, singled out the paper’s Buy Local campaign for particular praise, saying, “I have been so impressed by the power of the Western Morning News in showcasing examples and persuading restaurants, hotels and visitors to value local produce and demonstrate to retailers the consumer demand.”

Williams was presented with a book on Highgrove by the Lord Lieutenant, with a personal inscription from Prince Charles.

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