Marsh Award for Wetland Conservation
This Award is run in association with the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) and recognises the best individual effort in local wetland creation.
Volunteers from around the UK work to protect and transform wetland areas, leading to the conservation of wildlife and the creation of spaces to be enjoyed by the local people. Ranging from community wetlands to wetlands in people’s back gardens, each year this Award supports the people who have been the driving force behind these projects.
WWT works with others across the world to monitor, research, create and restore wetlands and the wildlife that depends on them.
Pictured above: Moorend Spout Wetland, the winning wetland for 2013
The 2016 winner is Richard Waddingham
Richard Waddingham is a Norfolk farmer who visited the Slimbridge Wetland Centre in Gloucestershire in 1946 when it was created and became inspired, particularly by Sir Peter Scott, a British ornithologist and conservationist. He joined an expedition to eastern Greenland in the 1950s to study pink-footed geese. For several decades, Richard has worked on his farm quietly restoring and creating a network of ponds which are now very numerous, beautiful and support significant populations of wildlife.
About 10 years ago, researchers in the Pond Restoration Research Group at University College London started studying Richard's ponds and restoration techniques. Their work shows the huge benefits of farmland pond restoration for biodiversity spanning plants, insects, amphibians, fishes and even farmland birds and pollinator populations. Richard's pond restoration approach has inspired the recently established Norfolk Ponds Project and is now beginning to influence UK policy.
Richard really is an unsung hero of Wetland Conservation and presenting him with this Award in the 70th Anniversary year of the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust is a fitting testament for his years of contribution to the cause.
You can find more information about the Pond Restoration Research Group (http://www.geog.ucl.ac.uk/research/research-centres/pond-restoration-research) and the Norfolk Ponds Project (http://www.norfolkfwag.co.uk/norfolk-ponds-project/) by following these links
Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT)
Slimbridge, Glos GL2 7BT, UK