Honour for leading volunteer at Roundhay Park

A retired engineer who has made an outstanding contribution to one of Leeds’ finest landmarks has been recognised with a British Empire Medal.

Jon Vogler, working parties leader for the Friends of Roundhay Park, has been awarded a British Empire Medal.

Jon Vogler, 75, receives the honour for services to the community in Leeds having spent 16 years as a volunteer to improve and maintain Roundhay Park. As working parties leader for the Friends of Roundhay Park, Mr Vogler has planned and executed major projects in the park with the help of others.

“This award is not really individual recognition as there are dozens of volunteers who make the park what it is today,” he said.

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“The Royal Horticultural Society recently named Roundhay the best public park in the country which is a great source of pride. It has everything - splendid lakes, formal gardens, acres of woodland and Tropical World of course, and I find the work most satisfying.”

The park extends to more than 700 acres and attracts over a million visitors per year. Projects carried out by the Friends group have helped maintain the park’s fine reputation as a great place to visit.

Mr Vogler moved to Roundhay from London 43 years ago. His working groups meet twice a month and among their achievements is the creation of The Friends Garden, designed by Mr Vogler and which has drawn support from local businesses and primary schools to keep it looking at its best.

The Friends also played a large role in defending the park’s mansion house from being converted into council offices and Mr Vogler helped to successfully lobby for the building to be restored to its former splendour. In 2007 the rear wings of the building were opened after an £8m refurbishment, followed by a cafe and function rooms in 2009.

Recently, the first stage of a project to make Roundhay Castle more accessible and to save it from disrepair was also completed.