Briston farmer nets national Marsh Award for wetland conservation

Richard Waddington

Richard Waddington - Credit: Archant

A farmer hailed as 'a conservation stalwart of the very best kind' has been honoured with a national award for wetland creation.

Richard Waddingham from Norfolk accepted the Marsh Award for Wetland Conservation at the AGM of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT).

The award honours exceptional individual achievement in local wetland conservation. It was presented by Martin Spray, chief executive of the WWT.

In his introduction at the award ceremony, Dr Sayer said: 'Richard has inspired countless people to value and love the British countryside. He has been a conservation stalwart of the very best kind.'

Mr Waddington, who has farmed at Manor Farm, Briston, since the 1950s, said: 'I think as a country, we're on the threshold of realising that water management is as important to us as food. The ponds are special because I haven't made them, they are the source of two rivers and I'm the watershed between them.'


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Manor Farm's 243 hectares are intensely farmed with a mix of eight crops and livestock. Yet there are also orchid meadows, grassland margins, old hedges, bluebell woods and 40 or so small marl-pit ponds.

Mr Waddington has spent his life managing the land and water resources by traditional methods.

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Plants, insects, amphibians, fish and farmland birds are all currently thriving at Manor Farm, at a time when farmland birds in the UK are doing particularly badly – according to last month's State of Nature report, 12 of the UK's 26 farmland breeding birds are now of conservation concern.

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