RUGBY LEGEND Doddie Weir led the Scots contingent in the New Year’s honours list, receiving an OBE for his services to rugby, MND research and the community in the Scottish Borders.

Beginning his rugby career at Melrose, Doddie went on to play for Borders, Newcastle Falcons and Scotland – and made no less than 61 international appearances for the national team.

His early years were spent on the family farm near Fountainhall, Galashiels and on his retirement from professional rugby in 2005 he returned to his farming roots; where he now looks after a small sheep and beef operation on the edge of the village of Blainslie.

Mr Weir was diagnosed with MND in 2017 and since founded the ‘My Name’5 Doddie Foundation’ which has raised over one million.

Former president of the National Farmers Union of England and Wales, Meurig David Raymond was awarded a CBE for his services to farming, having been previously awarded an MBE in 2005. Mr Raymond served as president of the NFU from 2014 and stood down earlier this year.

Northern Ireland farmer Charles John Henning was awarded an OBE for his services to agriculture. Recently appointed as chairman of the Northern Ireland Agricultural Research and Development Council, Mr Henning is also governor of the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers and vice-president of the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society, amongst many other senior roles within the UK agricultural industry.

Across the UK rural sector, MBE's were awarded to James Irving Rae for his services to Eskrigg Nature Reserve and the community in Lockerbie; Dr John Stuart Faulkner for services to Conservation and Grass Breeding in Northern Ireland; Sally Ann Bendall, Suffolk, who was acknowledged for her services to the agricultural sector; Brian John Sullivan from Chichester, who received the award for his 'Emergency Planning' work with DEFRA; while Charles Edwin Irwin was acknowledged for services to Beekeeping and the community in Glasgow and Lidwina Anne-Marie Hamilton from Cambridgeshire, was honoured for her services to the farming community and to charity. Judith Irene Fish was awarded her MBE for services to tourism in the Highlands and to the community in Applecross where she owns The Applecross Inn; and Lyndon David Edwards received his MBE for services to farming and the community in Monmouth.

Other notable names on the Honours List included Dr Stephen John Lee, the Peebles-based programme group manager for the Forestry Commission, who was given an OBE for his services to forestry; Devonshire based David Charles Bragg who received an OBE for his work tackling poverty in Africa as founder of charity ‘Send a Cow’; and controversial conservationist and broadcaster Chris Packham, who was given a CBE for his services to Nature Conservation, to warm congratulations from the architect of the UK's future farm policy, Defra minister Michael Gove.