Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust are looking for the unsung hero responsible for the best wetland in the UK and they need your help.
Use the online form at wwt.org.uk/marsh-award to nominate the wetland you most love and admire.
A panel of experts will choose the very best and the person who manages it will be presented with the Marsh Award for Wetland Conservation, an award of £1,000.
Last year the Marsh Award went to Somerset councillor Tony Moulin for managing the wetlands at Biddle Street on The Strawberry Line.
Around 35 acres, it has been made a Site of Special Scientific Interest since Tony started managing it. He became a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award assessor in the 1990s to enable young people to earn their medals through conservation work at the reserve.
Tony says: “It’s been wonderful seeing people grow through their connection with the reserve. There’s an otter group that uses it; ecologists are conducting dormouse, amphibian and reptile surveys there; and conservationists are studying the bats of the reserve and beyond. This is what’s so exciting: we’re able to see the younger generation further their interest in nature at the reserve. It helps people connect together for the greater good.”
WWT’s Head of Wetlands for People Andy Graham is one of the judges of the Marsh Award. He said: “Thanks to Tony this patch of land by a disused railway line has become a haven for wildlife, but the winning factor was that people use it too.
“Wetlands worldwide are linked with societies. With our technological lifestyles in the UK, that link is sometimes less obvious. As we go for a walk or fish or birdwatch, we don’t necessarily think about the jobs that wetland does quietly: storing floodwater, protecting our homes and businesses, keeping our rivers clean, providing us and our farmland with clean water.
“People like Tony make a big contribution to society by keeping our wetlands working well, which is why we want to reward them. Please take a couple of minutes to tell us about a wetland you love.”
The Marsh Award is awarded to the person who is judged to be mainly responsible for managing the wetland. The wetland should be:
• Accessible to as many people as possible
• Attractive and bring a wide range of benefits to the people who live nearby
• Home to a wide variety of wild plants and animals
• Managed by someone who makes a difference by either carrying out the work themselves or by organising and inspiring others.
The Marsh Award for Wetland Conservation comes with a prize of £1,000, and has been set up to celebrate local heroes who create and look after wetlands.
Nominations for the 2012 award are now invited: to find out more, contact wwt.org.uk/marsh-award.
The Marsh Christian Trust runs a portfolio of more than 50 Awards, which seek to recognise unsung heroes who all aim to improve the world we live in.
Published 16th January 2012
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