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Norfolk Community Biodiversity Awards 2018 seek to celebrate volunteer wildlife heroes

Winners of the 2017 Norfolk Community Biodiversity Awards. Pictured at front are Outstanding Achievement Award winners Helen Smith and Carl Sayer. Picture: Keiron Tovell.

Winners of the 2017 Norfolk Community Biodiversity Awards. Pictured at front are Outstanding Achievement Award winners Helen Smith and Carl Sayer. Picture: Keiron Tovell.

© Keiron Tovell Photography 2017

An annual search has begun to find and celebrate the Norfolk wildlife heroes who volunteer their time to enhance their local environment and communities.

The Norfolk Community Biodiversity Awards are organised by the Norfolk Biodiversity Partnership (NBP) to reward individuals, groups, schools, parish councils or businesses who are working for nature in their area, and inspiring others in their community to get involved.

The 2018 awards are now open for nominations in five categories:

• Saving Species – to recognise individual or group efforts to improve the prospects for wildlife species.

• Groups – for groups working on biodiversity projects in their community.

• Young People’s Achievement – for individuals under 18, or those who enable young people to make a contribution to nature and biodiversity.

• Nature for Health and Wellbeing – for projects and activities that bring benefits for people’s health and wellbeing, alongside benefits for biodiversity (or knowledge of it) in the community.

• Churchyards and Cemeteries – recognising action to care for churchyards and cemeteries so they provide opportunities for nature to thrive as well as being a welcoming and tranquil oasis for people.

David North, chairman of the NBP Communities and Nature Topic Group which organises the awards, said: “This is the 15th year for the Community Biodiversity Awards. Over this time we have celebrated some outstanding conservation projects and individuals who have made a real difference in their local communities.

“Working together on conservation projects is a great way to make a difference for wildlife alongside benefits for human health and wellbeing.”

The awards focus on the voluntary efforts of individuals and groups whose projects are not part of the daily work of any conservation organisation.

Judges will look for evidence of biodiversity enhancement, as well as the degree of community involvement, and the project’s long-term sustainability. Winners and their guests will be invited to an awards evening in July in Norwich.

The awards are sponsored by Kelling Heath Holiday Park, the Landscape Partnership, the Norwich Community Green Gym, Pensthorpe Natural Park, R and J Hogg and Norfolk Wildlife Trust.

Nominations can be made online or forms can be downloaded to be completed and returned to the Norfolk Biodiversity Partnership. The closing date is April 30.

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