A RANGER enjoyed an audience with the Queen as a representative of a Forestry Commission regional team that won a top prize at a civil service awards ceremony.
Kelly Brindley was invited to Buckingham Palace after her South Yorkshire team won the national Understanding and Engaging with Communities prize for at the Civil Service Diversity and Equality Awards.
The 31-year-old Sheffield Hallam University graduate has been in the job as a ranger for two years, and her post is funded by both the Forestry Commission and NHS Doncaster, which wants to encourage healthy recreation.
She said: "It was a real eye opener and also a very proud moment. We work with people at a grassroots level to help them get the most from the region's new woods.
"It was fantastic to represent the whole ranger team at what was a pretty glittering occasion. I never thought a job in the woods would take me to meet the Queen."
The Forestry Commission, which manages woods, was rewarded for its work with local communities in areas such as Dinnington, Bentley, Thurnscoe, Brodsworth and Kiveton.
Forestry Commission forest management director Andy Medhurst said: "It's terrific to see national recognition for the work we are doing in South Yorkshire in partnership with the Land Trust.
"Helping people enjoy the new beauty spots taking shape on ex-colliery land is key to the success of this major land renewal project."