The 93 year old created Fullers Mill garden in West Stow, Suffolk

Bernard Tickner
Bernard Tickner in his garden at Fullers Mill, Suffolk. Photo by Jonathan Ward, Ginger Horticulture

Bernard Tickner has been awarded an MBE in  the Queen’s Birthday Honours. The award has been given in recognition for services to wildlife conservation and horticulture, relating to his voluntary conservation work in Suffolk and for his work at Fullers Mill Garden in West Stow.

Bernard Tickner moved to Fullers Mill in 1958 and began making the garden in what was an area of rough scrub and woodland, set on the River Lark. Today the gardens cover some 7 acres, laid out as a series of interconnecting areas. In January 2013 he entrusted it to Perennial, the UK’s only charity dedicated to helping all horticulturists, in order to secure its future so that visitors can enjoy the garden for years to come. Bernard had placed the garden in a charitable trust a decade ago and he continues to fully fund it.

The announcement coincides with the launch of his biography, A Scratch in the Soil, on 20 June. The memoir covers his military service in East Africa, a career with Greene King as head brewer and creator of its award-winning draught Abbot Ale, a prominent role in the creation of Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s Lackford Lakes Reserve with generous gifts of land, finance and advocacy and sixty years as a plantsman and maker of the garden at Fullers Mill.

Speaking about his award, Bernard Tickner, who has recently celebrated his 93rd birthday at Fullers Mill Garden, said: ‘I am truly honoured to have been made an MBE.  I have loved living in this part of Suffolk and feel very fortunate to have been able to work and live here for as long as I have. I am humbled that Her Majesty considers me as deserving of the title and I look forward to meeting her to thank her in person.’

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