“Overall Winner”
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Hirst Wood Regeneration Group’s Nature Reserve at Hirst Lock has been judged overall winner at the prestigious Biffa Award Ceremony. More than 170 projects from across the country were eligible for an award. These were whittled down to a shortlist of 16 projects across four categories: Arts & Heritage; Community Life; Sport and Play; and Nature Spaces. The ceremony was held at the Portal building at the Dudley Canal & Tunnel Trust and guests gathered to hear the judges’ verdict on some superb projects aimed at improving local communities or the environment. The Hirst Wood Nature Reserve was in the Nature Spaces category and faced stiff opposition from R.S.P.B in Kent, Wiltshire
Wildlife Trust, and the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in Tyne & Wear, so it was a great achievement to win that category and the £1,000 cheque. But words can hardly describe the delight when the judges unanimously decided that the Nature Reserve was the overall winner
and suggested it provides a good model for other groups across the country to aspire to. This extra award brought with it a splendid trophy and a second cheque and the money will be used to make the Nature Area even more attractive to visitors. Gillian French, Biffa Award Head of Grants, said: “Biffa Award projects make up an eclectic community across the country with projects ranging in size and scale from £500 to £1.6 million. “This variety is one of the greatest strengths of this community and the Award Ceremony offers us the chance to celebrate some of their outstanding work. “Our judges had a tough decision to decide the winners.”
Graham Sharp and Pauline Bradley-Sharp collect the awards on behalf of Hirst Wood Regeneration Group from category judge Tony Richardson and Biffa Group Ltd’s Mick Davis
“A well-deserving winner for 2016”