A STUDENT dedicated to conserving his local environment has received a prestigious conservation award.

Northallerton School and Sixth Form College student Zach Haynes received the top prize of £750 in the Young Ranger of the Year awards by the North York Moors National Park Trust.

The award recognises young people under the age of 21 who have made a meaningful contribution to conservation, improved visitor access or have worked closely with local communities within or close to the National Park.

Zach, 13, of Northallerton, impressed judges after setting up his own nature blog and recording, photographing and documenting plants and wildlife on the North York Moors.

He also received praise for his lobbying of local MPs on countryside issues including grouse shooting and fox hunting.

“We have been visiting the North York Moors as a family since I was very young,” said Zach. “I’ve always loved the scenery and the wildlife so I started to write a blog when I was nine and since then I’ve had over 250,000 views."