Surbiton firefighter Simon Jakeman has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for his work championing London Fire Brigade to be environmentally friendly.

Mr Jakeman, 44, was given the prestigious royal award as part of the New Year’s Honours list after gaining a reputation as LFB’s “Super Green champion” for encouraging all 412 watches to embrace environmentally friendly policies.

In 2010, Mr Jakeman was the driving force behind Surbiton fire station being named the greenest in London after converting its roof terrace into a vegetable garden.

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He visited Windsor Castle as a representative of wildlife charity WWF in May last year.

Mr Jakeman, of Somerset Avenue, from Chessington, said: "I am totally amazed. In fact, lost for words and feel really honoured to be recognised for my green work in the New Year’s Honours List.

“I’m just doing my bit. To think this all started with one tomato plant in a fire bucket on a fire station roof.”

Having worked as a firefighter for more than 20 years, Mr Jakeman spent last year on detachment from his firefighting duties to work as the “super green champion” for LFB.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: "Not only has Simon been willing to risk his life as a firefighter to help keep Londoners safe, but his exemplary work has helped to make LFB more environmentally friendly and reduce pressure on the service from anti-social behaviour.

“He has made a real difference to London’s communities.”

London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton said: "I am very pleased for Simon and these awards are a fitting recognition of his hard work and achievements.”