In January 2019 we held our second awards ceremony to celebrate more Worcestershire Wildlife Heroes...
As Conservation and Countryside Officer for Wyre Forest District Council , Paul has led a committed team of staff and volunteers in looking after nature reserves and community green spaces for more than 25 years. Paul is also the Council’s biodiversity expert, has championed the protection of wildlife in the District and been instrumental in establishing the Grazing Animals Project, which promotes rare breed livestock to manage heathlands and grasslands in the area.
Ashton-Under-Hill First School
The pupils learn about the importance of biodiversity using the local woodland and orchards as well as habitats created in their school grounds. There are regular forest school sessions and eco-activities, giving pupils an understanding of environmental concerns and a respect for the natural world. The school are campaigning to reduce single-use plastics and use glass instead of plastic milk bottles in local primary schools.
James has built on the work of his father who established Bodenham Arboretum, near Wolverley. The plantations, pools and glades provide varying habitats for flora, fauna, insect life and a variety of birds. James has supported members of the West Midlands Bird Club in erecting nest boxes and monitoring birdlife across the arboretum. A forest school has been established on site, catering for people of all ages. James also has also saved, maintained and improved Wolverley Woods for both wildlife and people.
Nick & Rebecca Blackman
Worked very closely with Worcestershire Wildlife Trust’s Wild Pollinators project in order to build on existing features on their farm. They’re great at putting ideas into practice and have gone the extra mile eg. creating banks for ground-nesting bees and altering cropping in favour of soil health and invertebrates.
Martin is Manager of the Vale Wildlife Hospital and Rehabilitation Centre and has been closely associated with its development through most of its 30 years. The centre cares for, rehabilitates and, if possible, releases injured wildlife from across the region. The centre has a high reputation and is a registered charity.
From his home in Evesham, Matt runs a Facebook group called British Wildlife Watch & Photography, which has almost 12,000 members. The group was established to share great photos and videos of our amazing wildlife.
Tina is out in all weathers dealing with routine maintenance and one-off duties as warden of Beckford Nature Reserve. She leads the winter work parties and everyone who enjoys visiting the reserve acknowledges her huge contribution in time, commitment and the way she gets things done. She is a real credit to Beckford and much resepected.
Peter led a group of local residents to restore and manage a small, neglected orchard in Fladbury. Peter organised work parties to prune and plant trees, graft new trees and manage the grassland. Peter organised events and visits from the local primary school. A volunteer for the Vale Landscape Heritage Trust and leader of the Parish Green Charter Group, Peter sadly passed away in 2018 and his award was collected by his wife, Jane.
Tania and family have owned an area of woodland next to Worcestershire Wildlife Trust’s Knapp and Papermill nature reserve for over ten years. Passionate about wildlife, they have managed it for wildlife – coppicing, entering countryside stewardship and creating a buffer between the woodland and the adjacent grazed field.
A moderator of the Malvern Bird Group, he organises the surveys for the Breeding Bird Survey each spring, the results of which go into the Birds and Butterflies around the Malverns book.
Gerry guards and monitors a bee orchid grow on a verge in Malvern Link. Using garden canes to protect the orchid from being mown and erects a small notice to explain to people what’s growing there.
Deborah keeps her garden wild so any animal can have a home. There are numerous bird tables and feeders, a hedgehog house (which has been used), two small areas for frogs, wildflowers and climbers for birds and bees.
Andrew has visited the same badger’s sett for more than 30 years. When food is scarce for badgers he takes some and, although in his mid-80s, during hot weather he made a small pool for them and carried water on a daily basis (it was used by many badgers). He has given many talks to interested groups to inform people about this little-seen mammal.
Peter is a dedicated bird-ringer, adding to our knowledge of birds, as well as editor of the annual Birds and Butterflies around the Malverns book.
Kathy has a wonderful wildlife-friendly garden with numerous bird feeders as well as lots of wild areas; she was delighted wwhen a family of hedgehogs were seen and she found a grass snake in her compost bin. She loves watching the birds and butterflies in her garden and, when she put out extra bird food in the snow she was rewarded with the arrival of redwings and fieldfares.
Jason is a photographer and blogger recording and reporting on wildlife. His latest project focuses on the wildlife found at Hartlebury Common.
A founder member of Evesham Bat Care, she has been caring for rescued bats for four years (including rarer species such as Bechstein’s and Leisler’s). She goes above and beyond for bats whilst holding down a full-time job and being a trustee of a ferret rescue charity.
Timothy manages a significant section of land on the north side of Bredon Hill. Much of this management is focused on bringing benefits to wildlife and includes a large area of unimproved grassland as well as many important trees that are managed for beetles, especially the nationally rare violet click beetle.
An active member of the Worcestershire Bat Group, Dave has done many bat surveys and is a regular recorder of wildlife for Worcestershire Biological Records Cerntre.
With the support of other volunteers, Marilyn set out to provide healthy food for 100 plus swans on the River Severn in Worcester’s town centre in 2014. She has involved the public, both in bird feeding events and in the supply of bags of floating swan pellets that can be purchased in numerous places in Worcester. She advises and encourages people to feed healthy food to swans. The volunteers are now selling swan food in Bewdley.
Oxton Organics are an inter-generational team of Soil Association-approved organic farmers. They grow vegetables with holistic management of their land – impressing their customers with their care for flora and fauna on the farm, their diversification to a no-dig system for soil invertebrates and agro-forestry in a commercial setting. They provide amazing vegetables brimming with vitality, showing that it is possible to grow food commercially with wildlife and earth care in mind. The award was collected by Jayne Arnold and Julian Eldridge.
Pendock C of E Primary School
The school grounds have a great wildlife area and children are regularly involved in activities like minibeast hunting. The school raised money for Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, which was put towards the purchase of a nearby nature reserve and the school are now working with the Trust to help inspire children about the natural world and capture memories of those in the village and surrounding area.
Owner of Old Country Farm near Mathon, which is run with wildlife in mind and the bird life there is exceptional (the now scarce spotted flycatchers and lesser spotted woodpeckers, for example).
Redditch Midweek Conservation Volunteers
The group was formed more than 20 years ago with work supervised by Redditch Borough Council. Membership has changed but a core of about a dozen volunteers undertakes 40 days per year working on the many wildlife, and publicly accessible, areas in the Borough. They undertake woodland work, have laid hundreds of metres of hedges at Bordesley Meadows, planted hundreds of saplings and mowed and weeded a number of small meadow areas to build up the wildflower populations. Following the discovery of brown hairstreak butterfly eggs in Morton Stanley Park a few years ago, the team also now manage the blackthorn growth there. The award was collected by Rick Jeanes, Gary Emms and Pete Burton.
Sylvia has championed adders for many years. She has studied the adders in the Wyre Forest for decades, recognising each one by the markings on the head, the details of which she has kept in handwritten notebooks. Many organisations have been enthralled with her talks on adders and she has enlightened many people that adders are not creatures to fear.
Trevor & Annette Smart
owners of Ravenshill Wood, near Alfrick, they mange this ancient woodland solely for the natural flora and fauna. Gradually they are removing non-native trees and are allowing the native species to recover. The woods are open to the public and they welcome schools, clubs and societies as well as individuals. Of particular note is their support for the population of toads that live in the woods but cross the hazardous road each year to breed in the lagoon opposite; Trevor catches and carries them safely across the road.
Known locally as Nick the Bird Man, Nick looks after the swans on the river in Bewdley in all weathers and is involved with Muddy Duck Rescue.
Jan and Michael Terry
Jan and Michael have a wildlife-friendly farm with fantastic hedges and are creating new meadows and wetlands. Monitoring of wildlife shows that what they’re doing is really working. They are committed to education and events for children.
Pam has the most beautiful wildlife habitat for the deer, badgers and foxes that visit her garden each night to feast on the food that she puts out for them. Pam has planted trees and areas for the animals to live and hide in.
Keith leads the management group that looks after High House Wood, a small privately owned ancient woodland that adjoins Lickey Hills Country Park. On behalf of the Friends of High House Wood, the management team do a brilliant job of keeping the wood in high conservation status whilst ensuring public access and its use for educational purposes by local schools.