|Octavia Hill - NT founder|
Here's the quote I gave to press: "I had no hesitation in recommending Stroud Valleys Project for this prestigious national award - they have a fantastic reputation for working with all parts of our community. This is great recognition for all the staff and volunteers who are so inspiring and passionate about our green spaces. We are indeed fortunate to have such a great organisation in the district making such an important contribution to our local environment."
Well done indeed!! Below is the National Trust press release....
A group of green space guardians marking their silver jubilee, a red squirrel champion and a passionate birdwatcher are this year’s green heroes celebrated in our Octavia Hill Awards.
The three winners, who saw off strong competition to claim the ultimate accolade, feature in the July issue of Countryfile Magazine, with an awards ceremony for all of the shortlisted finalists in the autumn.
The awards are named after Trust founder and social reformer Octavia Hill who died in August 1912, and are run in partnership with Countryfile Magazine.
Helen Timbrell, our Volunteering and Community Involvement Director and one of the judges, said:
'Being a volunteer is in our national DNA and it’s great that these awards recognise and celebrate the commitment, passion and determination of the people that care for the green spaces that matter so much to them. The standard of nominations for the Octavia Hill Awards this year was really high and shows that the spirit of volunteering is alive and well.'
Click on read more to see all winners.
The 2013 winners are:
- Green Space Guardians award – Stroud Valleys Project in Gloucestershire
- 'Love Places' award - Allan Davies, County Antrim in Northern Ireland
- 'Natural Hero' - Mike Barrett in Norfolk
Judging the entries
The awards attracted more than 140 entries and a final shortlist was selected by a panel of judges. Sitting on the panel were Helen Timbrell, Volunteering and Community Involvement Director at the Trust, Fergus Collins, Editor of Countryfile Magazine, Grahame Hindes, Chief Executive of Octavia House and Julia Bradbury, Countryfile presenter, and Matt Smith, who were both winners of a 2012 Octavia Hill Award. The public then voted, in their thousands, for the shortlisted entries.
Fergus Collins, editor of Countryfile Magazine, said,
'If it wasn’t for an army of volunteers offering their skills, energy and spare time for free, we would have significantly fewer beautiful, wild green spaces in both countryside and cities. From conservationists to craftspeople, campaigners and gardeners, these people are the unsung heroes who deserve all of our thanks. Octavia Hill understood the enormous value of green spaces for the physical and emotional well-being of local communities. She would certainly have been proud of this year’s winners.'
Each of the winners will receive a specially commissioned bowl made by Tony Alderman who works at the National Trust’s Chartwell in Kent. The bowls have been made using English elm, oak and yew collected from woods near to Crockham in Kent where Octavia Hill lived.