THE Hawk Conservancy Trust based in Andover has received recognition with commendations at the Beautiful South Awards from Tourism South East.

The trust received a silver award in the ‘Large Visitor Attraction of the Year’ and was highly commended in the ‘Access for All’ tourism category.

The awards recognise businesses and destinations across the tourism industry for their exceptional levels of customer service and dedication to raising standards.

Peter Colling, managing director of Tourism South East, said: “Our industry’s commitment to providing the best possible customer experience is outstanding.

“The award winners are truly the best-in-class.”

There was cause for further celebrations when executive life president, Ashley Smith, was presented with an ‘Outstanding Achievement Award’ from the British & Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) for his service to the zoo community in an award ceremony that took place on the same night.

Chief executive officer at the Hawk Conservancy, Penny Smout, said: “We had such a busy and anxious night but very gratifying.

“We were delighted to receive recognition from both Tourism South East and BIAZA.

“Gaining these awards is a great endorsement of the high standard of work undertaken by our volunteers and staff.

“We are also enormously proud of Ashley Smith and his achievement, which was richly deserved after having spent his life working in and supporting the zoological industry with such great bonhomie and passion for the work.

“My congratulations and thanks to Ashley and all our staff and volunteers.”