CUMBRIANS who have made their mark in public or community service are among a host of British and Commonwealth citizens to be recognised in the New Year’s Honours.

One of those receiving the MBE for community service is Robert Wheatley for his voluntary work in Baycliff, near Ulverston.

He has raised well over £100,000 for local projects, including a new playground.

The former Barrow shipyard worker said: “I feel elated. It’s a great honour and privilege.”

The MBE is also awarded to Natasha Jones, former head of business studies and citizenship at Ulverston Victoria High School.

Ms Jones, who was previously head of health and social care at the Queen Katherine School, Kendal, now owns Grange Fitness Centre.

MBEs go, too, to magistrate Jenny Farmer, of Longsleddale, near Kendal, for her services to justice and her local community, and Professor Brian Gates, of Carnforth, for his services to interfaith relations and the Religious Education Council of England and Wales.

Mrs Farmer, 65, who has served on the South Lakeland bench for 29 years, said: “I’m totally astounded.”

Other Cumbrians receiving honours are:

Julian Carradice, of Seascale, and Timothy Hodgson, of Keswick, for services to mountain rescue in  the Lake District (MBEs);

Morag Hopkins, an industrial caterer at Haverigg Prison, for services to HM Prison Service and the Rehabilitation of Offenders (MBE);

Forestry Regulation Task Force chairman Christopher Starr, of Penrith, for services to British forestry and forestry education (OBE);

Moira Tattersall, prince of Carlisle College, for services to further education (OBE).

And an OBE also goes to Lt Col Neil Unsworth, the commanding officer of the 2nd Battalion of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, which recruits from South Lakeland.

In November, Lt Col Unsworth attended the military funeral of Kendal soldier Ryan Ward, who died after returning from a tour of Afghanistan with the regiment.

He described the 20-year-old as ‘a real character in the battalion and a tremendous guy’ who was ‘cheerful...even in some pretty tough times’.