The Saxilby Nature Project have won the Lincolnshire Environmental Award 2022 sponsored by FCC Environment and Streets Chartered Accountants. The winning community group was announced at an event held at The Education Centre, Whisby Nature Park, on Saturday 8 October, which bought together three inspiring community group finalists.
Lincolnshire Environmental Award 2022 winner – Saxilby Nature Project
The brainchild of Ross and Eleanor Smith, the Saxilby Nature Project has become a vital resource for the local community by bringing nature close to people’s homes. Launched in May 2020, during the height of the pandemic, the group now have three sites: Hardwick Scrub and Ingleby Clay on Sykes Lane just outside the village and a patch of woodland across the canal from Bridge Street in Saxilby, now known as Saxilby Community Wood.
The local community have embraced the concept. In the last year, Saxilby Scout group have made and installed bird nest boxes in the Saxilby Community Wood, and made habitat piles. A tawny owl box was donated. Volunteers have planted hundreds of wildflower plugs on Hardwick Scrub and Ingleby Clay, and engaged in sessions of bramble management. Several new interpretation panels have been installed featuring artwork by local children of the species seen on the sites.
Saxilby Nature Project has created community nature sites within easy reach of where people live, and created a sense of ownership and belonging.
Lincolnshire Environmental Award 2022 runners-up
Sutton on Sea BeachCare
Sutton on Sea BeachCare began in 2016 following a conversation between neighbours about the levels of litter on the beach. So far, the group have cleared more than 2,070 bags of litter but they have become much more than a litter picking group. They also record report to relevant authorities sightings of stranded mammals, invasive species and archaeological finds, and, have encouraged local businesses to go plastic free. With their support, Sutton on Sea and Mablethorpe have joined the network of Plastic Free Communities across the UK.
Wildlife is returning to Thurlby Churchyard thanks to a committed group of local residents. After surveying the grassland areas, trial plots have been introduced to allow wildflowers to grow. Bee and insect-friendly flower beds have been developed, woodpiles created and bird boxes installed. This year, saw spotted flycatchers using one of the boxes and lady’s smock growing in the trial plots. The village community are encouraged to visit, learn about what’s important in the churchyard and to get actively involved. The Churchyard is part of a network of community sites that form the Baston, Langtoft and Thurlby Naturehood.
The Lincolnshire Environmental Awards are organised by the Rotary Club of Lindum, Lincoln and the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust. The awards are sponsored by FCC Environment and Streets Chartered Accountants.