Green Space Guardians award 2013
This award is for a group or organisation, big or small, that has created a lot of noise (locally or nationally) to champion green spaces and places.
Learn more about the shortlisted entries here - and the winners of the 2013 Green Space Guardians award, Stroud Valleys Project in Gloucestershire.
Winner: Stroud Valleys Project, Gloucestershire
Stroud Valleys Project (SVP) works with individuals and community groups inspiring and training people to discover and nurture wildlife and green spaces. SVP champions sustainability, working with local organisations to create new green spaces and restore neglected ones.
Last year SVP planted 3,120 hedgerow plants and 958 trees with volunteers giving 1612 days of time. Current projects include ‘Get Growing’ which supports over 1,500 children in 23 local schools to grow and harvest food, and Green Team which volunteers with, for example mental health issues, working to increase biodiversity of green spaces. This led to a women-only food growing and conservation skills group to improve self-esteem.
Nominated by Philip Booth.
Clare Mahdiyone, chief executive of the Stroud Valleys Project, was rightly pleased for the group to win the award. She said:
'We're now in our 25th year of working on green spaces and bits of unused land, making them lovely. Everything we do is about bringing people together to appreciate and contribute to the environment.'
Runner up: The Friend's of Russia Dock Woodland
The Friends of Russia Dock Woodland (FRDW) are a group of residents who help to protect and enhance this 34acre woodland in South East London.
FRDW are proud of their oasis in this busy corner of London. The Woodland supports a huge variety of plant, animal and bird life-some of it rare. It is used and enjoyed by residents and visitors of all ages. FRDW are proactive in promoting the Woodlands’ interests and are partly responsible for its ongoing improvements. FRDW commitment has resulted in funds for an interactive Bee Centre, decorative ironwork on the bridges, repairs and enhancements to the wetland areas.
FRDW have carried out several successful partnership activities, such as working with the Youth Offending Team to supply bat boxes to the Woodland.
The hard work put in by FRDW has resulted in three consecutive Green Flag Awards, Safer Parks Awards, and the Tree and Woodlands Award.
Nominated by Pauline Adenwalla
Runner up: Gunton Woods Community Project, Suffolk
Gunton Woodland Community Project is a group of people who, dismayed with the neglected state of local woodland, decided to act instead of moaning. They recruited willing volunteers of all ages and abilities, and with help and advice from knowledgeable organisations, set to work in 1998.
The group have transformed the original area – now a Nature Reserve – creating natural paths, removing dead and dangerous trees, and planting thousands of young trees. They've installed various nest boxes, created a wildlife pond, and encouraged the spread of native plants. The area has expanded to include a wildflower meadow, ancient woodland and another nature reserve.
Volunteers have become guides to school groups, give informative talks, and many lasting friendships have been formed through social events, day-trips and group holidays.
Nominated by Jacqueline Channing