Tis' the season for celebration: the annual Wildlife Trusts' awards

Yesterday afternoon we celebrated some of our stars: those people that make a real difference to UK wildlife and wild places day in, day out. In our annual prize-giving ceremony that rounds off The Wildlife Trusts’ Annual General Meeting we were delighted to recognise the following people and projects.

The Christopher Cadbury Medal

The Christopher Cadbury Medal has been awarded annually starting in 1990. Named in recognition of Christopher Cadbury, our President from 1962- 1968, the medal recognises volunteers who have made an outstanding contribution to both nature conservation and The Wildlife Trusts. Every three years an additional medal is awarded to a member of staff who has gone beyond the ‘call of duty’ in their role to the Trusts and our mission.

The Christopher Cadbury Medal is sponsored by the Sarnia Charitable Trust.

Gina Gavigan

The Wildlife Trust of South & West Wales

Gina Gavigan

The staff medal for 2020 has been awarded to Gina Gavigan. This year has been a challenge for us all across the movement. Fortunately for The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales they had Gina to inspire them. Her commitment, creativity and energy not only kept everyone at the Trust going but inspired many to join her. She brought well-known faces like Iolo Williams and Lizzie Daly together to create a weekly Facebook show, Skomer Live. The show and fundraising campaign reached a huge audience and even inspired David Gray to write a new song about Skomer.

Ian Armstrong

Northumberland Wildlife Trust

Ian Armstrong

Ian has been a force for nature in his 50 years in conservation. Ian created a large network of volunteers to promote and deliver conservation. He has also identified many nature reserves and sites, which are now protected for nature. Ian has done a lot of this work in his free time as a volunteer with many organisations including Northumberland Wildlife Trust. Wherever Ian goes, he inspires people with his passion and enthusiasm. Ian has been awarded the volunteer medal for his contribution to conservation and Northumberland Wildlife Trust.

Dame Mary Smieton Award

The Dame Mary Smieton Award is given annually to a Trust that has contributed significantly to an outstanding research project that has made an invaluable contribution to the strategic work of The Wildlife Trusts and its mission of bringing about living landscapes, living seas and a society where nature matters.

The winner of this year's Dame Mary Smieton award is Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside Wildlife Trust for their Large Heath Butterfly Feasibility Habitat Survey.

The project investigated the feasibility for the reintroduction of the large heath butterfly to the Greater Manchester Wetlands. The butterfly has been extinct from the Manchester moss lands for around 150 years. During the project, the data collected from 14 separate sites were analysed to identify the most suitable environment to support the large heath butterfly. This research was vital to the success of the project. A total of 46 butterflies were released during May and June this year, onto Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s Astley Moss. The data is still being used and will contribute to the ongoing phases of the reintroduction.

Large heath butterfly

Stefan Johansson

Storytelling Competition

Our wildlife and natural environment face unprecedented challenges. To bring about nature’s recovery we know we need to inspire others to get involved, and that to do this storytelling is key. 

To help Wildlife Trusts share their big stories with one another, we launched an internal storytelling competition back in 2018. Each year, it is a joy to witness the amazing stories and films, which shine a light on all the work that's going on.

Highly Commended: The Environment and Me: Jess's Story

Warwickshire Wildlife Trust

TeaM Jess shows the hugely positive effects of nature on mental health and how the work we do brings people, nature and wellbeing together. 

Thanks Jess for sharing your story!

Winner: Winmarleigh Carbon Farm

Lancashire Wildlife Trust

This fantastic and innovative project is developing an alternative, climate-friendly way to manage and restore the carbon storage capacity of peatlands.