Keith Hiscock MBE

It gives us great pleasure to share with you the wonderful news that Dr Keith Hiscock, Vice President of the LFS, has been awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours for services to marine conservation.

Many of you will know Keith and his long standing connection with Lundy. He is also a past Chair of the LFS.

Keith's marine conservation career began at Lundy. He was part of a small group from Ilfracombe that had started to promote the idea of marine reserves and, in September 1969, he was fortunate to be on Lundy when the church service to mark the handover of the island to the National Trust, and to be managed by the Landmark Trust, was held.

He had just completed a few days diving around the island and was wowed by the marine life. Lundy was an ideal location for a marine reserve: it was small (so reasonably easy to manage), remote, had fabulous and varied marine life, and was to be owned and managed by organisations that had conservation at their heart. Keith plucked up the courage to speak with John Smith (later Sir John) and he passed Keith on to the new Agent, Ian Grainger, to pursue the idea.

By 1972 the management plan for a Voluntary Marine Nature Reserve was published in the 23rd Annual Report of the LFS. Under Keith's drive and commitment, Lundy has led the way for marine conservation. The voluntary reserve became the first Statutory Marine Nature Reserve in 1986 and the UK's first Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) in 2010. Lundy also led the way in becoming the first No Take Zone (NTZ) in 2003 where all fishing and other removal of wildlife are prohibited.

Keith has been a pioneer of using diving for underwater marine biology in the UK and using the knowledge gained to promote marine conservation. His MBE is so richly deserved and I'm sure you'll join us in passing on our congratulations to Keith.

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