Online poll decides winners in Octavia Hill Awards

Pastel drawing of a young Octavia Hill

Pastel drawing of a young Octavia Hill

Latest update 06.03.2013 12:25

A three-week public vote is set to decide the winners in the first ever Octavia Hill Awards that recognise the ‘unsung heroes’ of the environmental movement.

Organised by the National Trust, in partnership with BBC Countryfile Magazine, the awards mark the centenary of the death of Octavia Hill, the social reformer and environmental campaigner who helped found the National Trust, who died in August 1912.

A panel of expert judges - including Fiona Reynolds, Director-General of the National Trust, Fergus Collins, editor of BBC Countryfile magazine, academic and broadcaster Professor Alice Roberts, and writer and countryside campaigner Candida Lycett Green - shortlisted three nominations in each of the six categories.

People will have the chance to pick their favourites from the shortlist in the six categories on our website.  Voting for the awards will close at midnight on Monday 9 April.

Fiona Reynolds, Director General at the National Trust and one of the judges, said: "These awards show that the spirit of Octavia Hill is well and truly alive.  I was so impressed by the passion and commitment of the people nominated and it was a really hard decision to come up with the final shortlist.”

The shortlist for the people’s campaigner award – a public figure who has championed the environment and the outdoors – includes broadcaster and president of the Ramblers Association, Julia Bradbury, naturalist and writer, Richard Mabey, and chef, food writer and campaigner, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

Each of the winners will receive a specially commissioned bowl made by Andy Bennett, who works locally at the Trust’s Chartwell, using English oak collected from woods near to Crockham in Kent where Octavia Hill lived.  They will also win the opportunity to be mentored by a Trust expert.

Fergus Collins, Editor at BBC Countryfile Magazine, added: ““The Octavia Hill Awards are a unique opportunity to celebrate and reward those people devoting precious time and energy to safeguarding green spaces.

“I found selecting the shortlist a difficult and moving experience – it was inspiring to see so many people selflessly working to provide havens for the local community where wildlife can flourish, too, and it was a tough job having to choose between such worthy people.”

The overall winners will be announced at a special awards ceremony in May, and profiled in the June issue of BBC Countryfile Magazine.

See the shortlist and cast your vote