HEROIC and hardworking Dorset residents are celebrating today after being named in the New Year Honours list.

Among them is Weymouth scientist Mr Jonathan Carter, who has been made a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire aged 56.

Dorset Echo: Jonathan Carter of Weymouth Jonathan Carter of Weymouth

Mr Carter, who is Chief Engineer Stealth at Atlas Elektronik UK, is the leading expert on ocean-acoustic environment used by the Royal Navy, having worked in the field for 35 years. He received the MBE for services to Naval Operational Effectiveness.

Mr Carter first learned of the news whilst at work and didn't quite believe he was to receive the MBE - almost deleting the official email.

He said: "People don't always understand the amount of science, maths and physics that goes into the Royal Navy. I see this recognition as not just for me, but also for the group of people working across those disciplines who have been working for a long, long time on these systems.

"Our young scientists, physicists and mathematicians should take heart that persistent, enduring efforts do occasionally get recognised, and persist with what they're doing."

Jonathan's expertise in using ocean-acoustic environment for tactical advantage is described as "formidable."

He has spent a significant amount of time at sea with operational crews and has optimised sensor performance for submarines, ships and helicopters, enabling the Navy to detect maritime platforms.

During a project aimed at improving surface ship detection of submarines, he highlighted concerns with the sonar on board the Merlin helicopter, leading to huge improvements in capability.

He is able to recognise hidden talent in others and has forged a core team of individuals who constitute a body of excellence in the underwater environment, not replicated anywhere else across defence.

In receipt of the British Empire Medal is Wareham resident Mr Mark Warn BEM. Mr Warn is a Wildlife Ranger with Forestry England, a post he has held for over 30 years. He has been recognised for services to Forestry - including his work during the huge fire that engulfed Wareham Forest this summer. Mark was first to respond and selflessly spent 18 consecutive days on the fire site advising and supporting the Fire Service, often for 16 hours a day.

Dorset Echo: Mark WarnMark Warn

Mark Warn said: “It was a complete surprise to open the notification letter, which left me feeling both incredibly proud but at the same time with a sense of sheer disbelief.

“As with anything we do in life its very much a team effort, and I must thank my friends and colleagues for their continued help and guidance over the years. My most sincere thanks of all go to my beloved wife Tara, without her support and understanding there is no way that I could fulfil my passion for the vocation that I love so much.

“I consider myself incredibly privileged to help to manage the most bio-diverse, and in my opinion most beautiful corner of the UK. I have always endeavoured to improve the habitats we manage, and in turn maximise the sustainable benefits to its wildlife, and all the people that visit and value this special place.”

Mark’s commitment to the important wildlife habitats and local community has led to him becoming a recognised expert in lowland heathland conservation and a trusted facilitator.

His intimate knowledge of the forest, built from years of practical experience, directed action to save priority areas during the fire, with teams cutting fire breaks and providing the Incident Commander with vital information on the most valuable habitat areas to protect.

He also continued to inspire and direct the volunteer effort to rescue reptiles from the fire site - and, in the aftermath, his focus turned immediately to how to recover and redesign the forest.

He is now a leading expert in the management of the nation’s rare lowland heath/forest habitats.

Swanage resident Ian Brown BEM, 49, received the honour for services to Voluntary Search and Rescue.

A volunteer station officer for Her Majesty's Coastguard since 1990, Mr Brown also has a day-job as a trainer with Dorset Police Control Room.

He has been an outstanding ambassador for the coastguard locally and has led the development and delivery of multi-agency test exercises - as well as having led his team in some difficult search and rescue incidents. These include the high profile Tilly Whim cave rescue attempt in 2014, and several high profile searches in 2017.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, he has led coastguard patrols designed to support beach safety, giving advice to the general public about social distancing and safe behaviours.

In the local Swanage community he is the driving force for his team’s participation in the annual carnival, both in the parade and with an accident prevention stand, maintaining a close relationship with the local diver and fishing community and ensuring the crews have a local point of contact, which has proven invaluable during multiple incidents.

He promotes excellent partnerships and has been proactive with the local National Coastwatch Institute to encourage volunteers to support lifesaving and has played a major part in the Swanage Community Defibrillator Partnership.

He is a committee member for the Swanage Museum, helping to maintain and preserve historical locations and sites in and around the Swanage area for future generations.

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is also celebrating today as three members of staff have been recognised.

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Watch Manager Chris Martin from Ramsbury Fire Station has received a BEM for services to the local community, while Area Manager Andy Cole and Chief Fire Officer Ben Ansell have both been recognised with a Queen’s Fire Service Medal (QFSM).

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Meanwhile Blandford resident Trish Wheatley, CEO of Disability Arts Online (DAO), has been awarded a BEM for services to disabled artists during the Covid-19 pandemic.

During 2020 the DAO team supported 73 disabled artists through 93 one-to-one sessions, streamed 19 digital events, provided 135 artists and writers with paid work, provided access support for 18 disabled artists to successfully apply for emergency funds, written 15 letters of recommendation and commissioned 30 artists through the DAO Covid Commissions in response to the crisis, reaching a total audience of 190,000 people.

Sherborne resident Anne Dearle has been honoured with a BEM for her services to fundraising.

Ms Dearle has been a long-term volunteer with national charity Save the Children and helped the organisation to carry out life-changing work.