Awards celebrate Norfolk’s wildlife heroes

The winners and sponsors of the Community Biodiversity Awards. Picture: Kieron Tovell

The winners and sponsors of the Community Biodiversity Awards. Picture: Kieron Tovell - Credit: Archant

Norfolk is known for its green spaces and wildlife havens – and the people who give up their time to care for these special places have been honoured at an annual ceremony.

The Community Biodiversity Awards, now in their 16th year, reward volunteers whose efforts lead to the improvement of biodiversity across the county and encourage people to get out and enjoy nature.

This year's winners were:

- Group Award: Wymondham Nature Group (WyNG) for its longstanding commitment to raising awareness of wildlife in the Wymondham.

- Young People's Achievement Award: William Darling, 14, for his work to clear plastic and other waste from the Norfolk Broads by kayak.

- Churchyards and Cemeteries Award: Roger and Jenny Jones, for their work to survey the biodiversity of around 40 of the county's churchyards over the past four years.

- Nature for Health and Wellbeing Award: Lily Bee Beaman, for her commitment to creating sensory garden.

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- Saving Species Award: Kate Blincoe, for her campaign to save swallow nesting sites from netting.

- Above and Beyond Award: Gemma Walker, for her commitment to inspire communities to value and protect Norfolk's wildlife.

David North, chairman of the Norfolk Biodiversity Partnership's communities and nature topic group, which organises the awards, said: "Local people coming together to protect local wildlife on local sites is a very powerful way of protecting Norfolk's environment.

"Global issues like the loss of biodiversity and destruction of habitats can seem impossible for individuals to change but taking action locally is a vital start and really inspires others to join in and help."

Martin Horlock, environment manager at Norfolk County Council, said: "There were many outstanding nominations and inspiring examples of community groups taking on the care for high-quality green spaces across Norfolk.

"These groups and individuals really are the wildlife heroes of Norfolk working hard to ensure a future for nature. They are an excellent example of the way that we can all play our part in caring for the world around us."

The awards were presented at the Abbey Conference Centre in Carrow on July 16.