Abe Agnew, the driving force behind the Eco Rangers initiative, receives the BEM for services to the community and environment in Northern Ireland.
Abe set up ‘Eco Rangers Larne’ in October 2020 to encourage people in his community to join him - and his dog Bobby - in combating a rise in litter on roads and along the coastline.
Hundreds of volunteers have subsequently got involved with sister groups also set up across Mid and East Antrim.
Following the announcement of the honour yesterday (Wednesday), Abe said: “Thank you all for your kind messages, they mean more to me than any award. I’m delighted to receive the award of the British Empire Medal on behalf of the Eco Rangers and the public throughout East Antrim. Together we have transformed the area we live in and love.”
Extending congratulations, East Antrim MLA Danny Donnelly said: “Abe has been personally responsible for lifting countless bags of litter from the streets around Larne for years and inspiring many others to do the same.
“Larne is a much nicer place for everyone because of his dedication and inspirational example. This award is very well deserved.”