Borders gamekeeper Alex Hogg has been described as a “rural hero” by TV gardener Alan Titchmarsh for his championing of good countryside management.
Hogg, a gamekeeper for 40 years, was presented with the Educational Trust’s Bellamy Award by the broadcaster on Friday the at CLA Game Fair at Blenheim Palace.
Presenter and novelist Titchmarsh handed over the trophy in his role as patron.
The honour, awarded annually, formally acknowledges individuals who excel in promoting the role of the gamekeeper.
Mr Hogg, son of a shepherd, started out as a keeper in 1974 and also worked for The Forestry Commission.
He is a highly respected member of his local community, and has campaigned tirelessly to promote the gamekeepers’ professional role as Chairman of The Scottish Gamekeepers Association.
Yorkshireman Titchmarsh said: “Alex Hogg is the real deal. He’s a genuine rural hero.
“So much so, I know he’s already a bit of ‘legend’ in keepering circles. He’s a very worthy winner.”
Mr Hogg accepted his prize, saying: “I have been in this line of work for forty years.
“The biggest satisfaction I get from the long hours in all weathers is seeing the many and varied species benefit from proper management.”