A PARISH councillor who led a campaign to preserve an area of ancient woodland has received a BEM in the Queen's New Year Honours.

Steve Hemmings, 69, from Box, Minchinhampton, has been recognised with a Medal of the Order of the British Empire (BEM) for services to the community.

Mr Hemmings spearheaded Box Village Society's community appeal in 2015 to raise £120,000 to buy Box Wood from previous owners, the Novalis Trust.

After three years of battling, fundraising and negotiating, the purchase was made in February 2017 and the woodland was officially been turned into a community owned asset and protected from future development.

He also became heavily involved in the running of the village hall, and organised parties, picnics, bonfire nights, coach trips and family days out, including an outing to France.

He later became parish councillor for Box, representing residents on Minchinhampton Parish Council.

In addition, Mr Hemmings helps compile the Box village newsletter and ensures every household receives a copy, as well as the parish magazine.

Mr Hemmings said he was delighted to receive the award, which will be presented with his medal by the Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire at a ceremony in the county. He will also be invited to a tea party at Buckingham Palace.