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One of the Queen’s gamekeepers was also awarded a Royal Victorian Medal (RVM).

Clay target shooter, George Digweed, was made an MBE for his services to sport and charity. Mr Digweed holds four world records and 15 world titles in his sport.

He told Shooting Times he is thrilled the sport has received such recognition: “I am not really into personal glorification but this award is great for shooting. Our sport is often overlooked because it is not considered politically correct, so this achievement means a lot. I am very much looking forward to collecting the award from Buckingham Palace. Hopefully I am not scheduled to be away competing, otherwise I will have to rearrange! When I received the letter through the post from the Cabinet Office I was thrilled it was a bit of a shock, to be honest.”

David Penn, of the British Shooting Sports Council, told Shooting Times that the sport can only benefit from such positive publicity: “This is excellent news and the British Shooting Sports Council sends George its congratulations. This is the second time this year that one of our top shooting medalists has been honoured, and that is good for us all, as it signals the widening recognition and acceptance of our sport.”

Eddy Graves, (pictured) headkeeper at Stowell Park estate in Gloucestershire, was appointed an MBE for services to gamekeeping.

Eddy, who has been a gamekeeper for the past 35 years, was put forward for the award by the Food Standards Agency after he helped them develop a training course to enable people to comply with new controls on the way game and venison are sold for human consumption.

Sandringham estate’s gamekeeper, Paul Burch, was also honoured with an RVM, which is a reward for personal service to the royal family.

He told Shooting Times: “I’ve worked for the Queen for 22 years at Sandringham. It is an honour to get the RVM and I am very pleased. But at the end of the day I’m just doing my job, which I wanted to do when I left school. The fact that Sandringham is a wild bird shoot adds to the challenge and I look forward to working for the estate for years to come.”

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