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Conservation & the Environment CIWEM Living Wetlands Award 2012


CIWEM are pleased to announce that CIWEM Living Wetlands Award 2012 has been awarded to Brockholes Nature Reserve, in Lancashire. CIWEM’s Living Wetlands Award was co-founded in 2002 /3 with RSPB and recognizes multi- functional projects that demonstrate the sustainable use of wetland habitats.

Brockholes is a 106-hectare site made up of former gravel workings located in Central Lancashire within reach of the city of Preston. It offers a major opportunity to sustain and further develop a high value biodiversity asset which is accessible to large numbers of people, many of whom live close to the site in areas of high social depravation.

Since the site’s purchase in December 2006 by The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside, the reserve has managed to proactively protect some key UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) habitats and species.

Brockholes nature reserve is very much at the leading edge of the widely accepted need to bring wildlife and people together in a way that meets long term targets in sustainability.

CIWEM’s Director of Policy, Justin Taberham said:

“The Brockholes project was particularly recognised for its high level of visitor attraction, excellent BREEAM visitor centre, and its high potential for increases in BAP species. All 5 judges were very impressed with the entry which was unanimously voted as the winner amongst some very high quality contenders”

CIWEM also commended the ‘Hambrook Marshes’ project entered by the Kent Enterprise Trust for its uniqueness in involving different social groups, particularly the unemployed and disadvantaged in society, and the ‘Severn Vale Living Landscape’ project entered by Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust for its impressive linkages and long term vision.

Julia Bradbury and Countryfile pay a visit and work on reed planting

The Living Wetlands Award will be presented at CIWEM’s prestigious Annual Dinner and Awards Ceremony on 17th May 2012. The prize fund this year was donated in memory of Dr. Rick Leah, Aquatic Ecologist.

A Sand martin

A new cross-Government unit is to be set up to help developers deliver large infrastructure projects that promote sustainable development by supporting growth and protecting our most valued habitats and species, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman announced today.

Government announces action to improve

implementation of the Habitats and Wild Birds Directives

The new Major Infrastructure and Environment Unit is one of the key recommendations to emerge from a review into the way the Habitats and Wild Birds Directives are being applied in England.

There will also be new guidance published which will explain in much clearer terms what needs to be done to comply with the Directives. The new streamlined guidance will be easier for both developers and regulators to follow.

The Review focused on the processes within the Directives that most affect businesses. It made recommendations which will reduce the burden on business while maintaining, and where possible, enhancing the environmental benefits.

Commenting on the publication of the Review report, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said:

“I strongly support the aims of the Habitats and Wild Birds Directives, and I have said all along that I want them to continue to be effective in protecting important wildlife sites. Central to that is ensuring that we maintain their


integrity, and the best way of doing that is to make it as simple as possible for people to comply with them. What the Review has shown us is that the Directives have been working well to provide the vital protection nature needs, but that there are cases where problems arise and delays occur, which is not good for business, the environment or local communities. “That’s the sort of thing which can undermine the reputation of the Directives, which was why it was important to have the Review in the first place. The action we are taking will make it clearer for developers to understand how to comply with the Directive, and will ensure that our wildlife still receives the high level of protection it deserves. This in turn allows genuine green growth, boosting our economy whilst looking after the environment.”

The Review also sets out the actions that bodies such as Natural England, the Environment Agency and the Marine Management Organisation will take to continue to improve the service they offer to customers, including developers.

The Review, which was announced in the Autumn Statement by the Chancellor and led by Defra, has involved detailed work with stakeholders and other Government departments.

The full report can be found at

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