Back in June, one of my colleagues suggested that we should enter the Milton’s Hidden Seashore project into the CPRE Hampshire Countryside Awards. At the time, I thought this was a slightly bizarre idea, as Milton Locks is definitely not in the countryside. However, I read the criteria for the Community and Voluntary category and decided it was worth a very long shot. I sent in photos and details of the various activities and sessions we have been delivering.
To cut a long story short, I was repeatedly astonished to get through each selection process and end up at the final awards ceremony, just over a week ago. There were a total of five project finalists in the Community and Voluntary category, as well as many others in different categories. The evening was a great opportunity to meet and chat to people running exciting and innovative projects all over the county. Towards the end of the event, the winners were announced and Milton’s Hidden Seashore was awarded a High Commendation, one of three awards given in the category. The deserving winner of our category was the wonderful Community Roots project in Southampton – http://southamptonvs.org.uk/projects/community-roots
If you have followed the story of Milton Locks Nature Reserve over the last decade, you may know a little of the challenges and problems in its past and of the twists and turns of its journey back towards the heart of the community. This makes the recognition of being highly commended at the CPRE awards all the more meaningful; recognition which belongs to everyone who has funded our work, volunteered, attended an event, put up a poster, stopped to chat to me on the reserve, read this blog or supported the project in any other way. Thank you, to all of you.
I have a busy month of school visits and other events ahead, so I’ll keep everyone posted on wildlife sightings and interesting happenings.