Duncton farmer David Burden received his British Empire Medal yesterday (Monday, February 20) at a special presentation at the South Downs National Park headquarters.
David has served his communities for more than six decades on a raft of committees and accompanied by his wife Judy received his medal from the Lord Lieutenant of West Sussex Susan Pyper, in front of a hall packed with friends and colleagues.
He said he was ‘very proud and pleased’ to receive the award.
David, born in Bepton, attended Midhurst Church of England School and the Midhurst Secondary Modern before studying agriculture at Brinsbury and Plumpton Colleges and going onto work for large scale diary farmers across the Midhurst and Petworth area.
He later moved to Northchapel and now lives in Duncton with his wife Judy.
He was chosen to be a founder member of the South Downs National Park Authority which was set up in 2011 and he served until 2015.
Playing an inaugural role, he saw the park’s new state-of-the-art headquarters restored and opened in former Midhurst Grammar School buildings at the bottom of North Street.
During his time on the new national park authority 74 year old David represented no fewer than 70 parishes throughout West Sussex.
He was also a member of the body preceding the new national park, the Conservation Board.
David served as a member of Northchapel Parish Council until 2010.
He remains committed to the Northchapel community as a member of the village hall committee there. He was also heavily involved in the planning of housing in the village at St Michael’s Close.
Now serving as a Petworth town councillor, he is a committed supporter of the Petworth Community Garden scheme.
Over the years David has served on many farming committees and has been a member of the National Farmers Union since 1972. He is a past county NFU chairman.
He is also chairman of the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution and past president of the South Downs Sheep Society. Passionate about rural issues he is a member of the Church and Countryside Committee.
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