The RSPB is today launching a major regional awards campaign aimed at highlighting people who ‘go the extra mile’ to help nature.

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The RSPB is launching the Stepping Up for Nature awards to celebrate local communities and individuals in its eastern region who have done something amazing for wildlife.

With a judging panel including the naturalist and television presenter Mike Dilger, Richard Powell, regional director of the National Trust, and Matt Shardlow, Director of Buglife, the awards have six categories that you can enter yourself or nominate someone for.

Mr Dilger said: “The eastern counties are home to some incredible wildlife and it’s time the people who give nature a helping hand got noticed. So get your thinking caps on and get entering the awards.”

The EDP will be giving its backing to the campaign by running a series of monthly features in Weekend magazine, beginning on April 14, which will focus on local nature heroes.

Peter Waters, Editor of the EDP, said: “We know that nature issues are dear to the heart of many of our readers, and have been for generations. That’s why our nature notes column has been running for more than 65 years and we have a long history of profiling the volunteers and staff who really set out to make a difference.

“We are delighted to add our support to the RSPB’s regional campaign through our forthcoming feature series.”

There are six categories that can be entered. These are: Upcoming environmentalist (for under 18s); best local community project; best school project; best garden for wildlife; greenest business and lifetime achievement. The awards are open to any individual or community in the RSPB’s eastern region, which includes Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Lincolnshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.

From tomorrow, application forms can be picked up from local RSPB and National Trust reserves, downloaded from www.rspb.org.uk/steppingup/do or requested on 01603 697591. Entries must be with the RSPB by September 1 2012.

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trevor.heaton@archant.co.uk

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