Hampshire and IOW Wildlife Trust (HIWWT) has two projects listed as finalists in the CPRE Annual Countryside Awards this autumn, and they need your help. The awards recognise schemes which celebrate beautiful, diverse and living countryside that everyone can value and enjoy.
In the Young People Category, HIWWT hope to make their mark with the Woodlands Apprentice scheme. The other is the New Forest Non-Native plants project in the Community and Voluntary work category. The best of all finalists
in the four categories will receive £500 towards the work of their project.
James Marsh, Reserves Manager for HIWWT said: “Looking after our woodlands is an increasingly rare skill, and one that has never been needed more . Thanks to the support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund , we’ve been able to offer vital training to young people interested in the opportunity to gain practical experience and qualifications.
“As well as helping manage some of our nature reserves , such as Martin’s Wood and Eaglehead Copse, the apprentices have worked on a number of other woodlands on the Island. In total they aim to restore at least ten woodlands across the East Wight which will contribute towards a connected network woodland habitat for vulnerable species.”
The Non-native Plants project aims to stop the spread of species such as Himalayan Balsam which threatens the special wildlife of the New Forest, particularly along watercourses and in wetland habitats. Catherine Chatter, New Forest non Native Plants officer said: “Our wonderful volunteers play a vital role in helping to control these vigorous invaders, generously giving their time to work cheerfully in all weathers.”
You can find out more about the projects and cast your vote by following the links on the Campaign to Protect Rural England website cprehampshire.org.uk.
Voting closes on Saturday, September 7.