John Duggleby was nominated for the award by his MP, Graham Stuart, who said he has consistently supported the local community during hard times through his tireless campaigning for better water management following the catastrophic floods of 2007 and again in 2018.
Farming a mile from the River Hull, John is a longstanding volunteer member of the Beverley and Holderness Internal Drainage Board.
Its chairman for more than 15 years until 2020, he proved a staunch advocate for increased river maintenance, arguing that this not only reduces the risk of further flooding, but also helps preserve the productivity of local farmland – benefitting farm businesses and the wider rural economy.
Shaping a strategic approach to flood risk management
Mr Stuart has worked alongside John, especially in helping to shape a strategic approach to flood risk management in the wider River Hull catchment, and said:
“I would like to congratulate John on being named the North East Community Farming Hero 2022 by the National Farmers’ Union. He has been a passionate champion for the farming industry over the last three decades and has consistently supported the local community during difficult times. He is a great asset to Beverley and Holderness and the British farming industry. Congratulations John!”
NFU Regional Director, Adam Bedford, said John’s tireless work on behalf of others in a very complex area, made him the perfect recipient of the award.
“John epitomises the selfless effort we so often see our members make,” he added. “There is no doubt he has made a real difference and it is great to see his contribution appreciated and recognised by Mr Stuart.”
A real passion
This was echoed by Bill Symons, Clerk to the Beverley and North Holderness IDB, who has worked with John for many years. He said: “I am delighted that John is being presented with this award. He has always shown a real passion for our work and I’m sure everyone involved with the Board will join me in congratulating him and thanking him for the dedication and enthusiasm he has shown over the years; not to mention his support for the wider farming community.”
Commenting on his award, John simply remembered his school headmaster urging pupils to ‘think of the other guy’. “That’s what I have tried to do,” he said.