A project working across Exmoor, Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor has been shortlisted for a national award following exceptional work to rescue butterfly populations in the South West.
All the Moor Butterflies from Butterfly Conservation is one of six projects to be shortlisted for the prestigious 2019 Park Protector Award and the very first Year of Green Action Award for National Park projects from the Government’s Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Jenny Plackett, South West Regional Manager at Butterfly Conservation, said: “Butterfly Conservation is absolutely delighted to be shortlisted for this Award for our work to improve the fortunes of our declining fritillary butterflies across Dartmoor, Exmoor and Bodmin Moor. We have been working alongside dedicated farmers and landowners to increase the quality and extent of suitable breeding habitat, and it would be wonderful if our partnership efforts were to be recognised with this Park Protector Award.”
The project fought off stiff competition to be within touching distance of the Awards, the results of which will be announced in a parliamentary reception this month. This year saw the most applicants apply in the competition’s history!
“The projects are each making an outstanding difference in some of the most famous countryside in the world; they are more vital than ever, when the natural world is under threat like never before and in the year of the National Parks’ 70th anniversary no less!”
“From introducing asylum seekers to the Yorkshire Dales to rescuing endangered butterflies, it’s testament to the power of the National Parks that they are inspiring people to make our countryside a better place for all,” said Corinne Pluchino chief executive of Campaign for National Parks.
Launching the competition, Lord Gardiner of Kimble, the Government minister for National Parks, said: “From my experience travelling the diverse and beautiful landscapes of the Parks I know that there is work to be done, whether that is work to enhance nature or introduce more people than ever to the glory of the countryside. But I also know that very challenge is being embraced by projects up and down the country.”
The six shortlisted projects are:
|LOCATE – New Forest National Park
|This project is mapping precious archaeological sites in the New Forest, training volunteers in the specialist skills this requires. This project has helped to map Neolithic long barrows, Iron Age hill forts and Roman pottery kiln sites!
|People and the Dales– Yorkshire Dales National Park||Enabling people from a truly diverse range of backgrounds, including asylum seekers, disabled and inner city youths, to have life changing experiences in the beautiful countryside – improving community relations and introducing thousands to the National Park.
|SWEPT – Pembrokeshire Coast National Park||This project is training citizen scientists to go out and collect vital pollution data in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. This data has led to clean-up events and has shone a light on the relationship between land and marine environments.
|Skill builder – Peak District National Park||Skill builder is engaging offenders on probation in conservation work across the Peak District, teaching them new skills, improving the offenders’ health and wellbeing and helping their rehabilitation. They boast that no participant has re-offended with the project.
|Carlton Marshes – Broads National Park||An ambitious restoration of 1000 acre landscape for wildlife alongside Lowestoft, one of the UK’s most socially deprived towns. Carlton Marshes is proving that people and wildlife alike can benefit from conservation and has been supported by the likes of Sir David Attenborough.
|All the Moor Butterflies – Exmoor & Dartmoor National Parks.||This project by Butterfly Conservation is rescuing butterfly populations from collapse in South-West England. Through working with farmers and other organisations the project aims to save six threatened species of butterfly and moth.
Stephen Ross, of the Ramblers Holiday’s Charitable Trust, which sponsor the Park Protector Award, said: “This year we’ve had an unprecedented number of high quality applicants, judging has been exceptionally tough and because of that I know what we have here are some of the very best projects run by the most passionate people. I wish there was a way to award every project. “
The winning projects will be announced at a parliamentary reception on 10 July 10. The winner of the Park Protector Award will receive a £2,000 grant towards their work, while the winner of the Year of Green Action Award will receive £1,500.
The annual Award is generously supported by Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust.
Additionally, supported by Breedon Group.
PHOTO: A marsh fritillary, one of the species at the centre of conservation efforts. Photo credit: Tom Cox