Dorothy Morley Conservation Awards
It’s amazing to see what great work is being done all over the county, the enthusiasm and passion for each project is inspiring.Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust
Win £1,000 for your local conservation group in Berkshire
The Dorothy Morley Awards comes round next in 2020, so anyone thinking of a project that can deliver for wildlife and local communities should look out for the next call for entries in spring 2020.
Enter the Dorothy Morley Awards
The awards scheme has now closed for 2018. The next awards will happen in 2020.
The Dorothy Morley Awards scheme is open to groups in Berkshire that involve their local community in managing a treasured green space, or plan to do so during the year. Groups have the chance to win a £1,000 award to go towards the winning project. One runner-up group will receive an award of £500.
We welcome projects of any size from residents' groups, village societies and conservation groups, as long as the site in question has public access.
Please note: This award is not suitable for schools, a separate award scheme for schools is hosted by CPRE Berkshire.
- The site on which the project is located must be within the county of Berkshire.
- Projects should be carried out by the local community and include public access.
- There is no minimum or maximum size to the project.
- 2016 prize winners may not apply.
- All entries received will be judged on the work carried out to date and on future ambitions for the group/project.
- The contact details of two group members are supplied.
- A representative from the winning group must be available to attend the award ceremony during summer 2018 and should assist in hosting the ceremony in a location near to the project site.
- For non-BBOWT groups only.
- Prize money can only be paid into a group/organisation's bank account; prize money cannot be paid to an individual.
Download the application form
The next awards will happen in 2020.
Find out more about the awards
Meet the winners!
Winner of the 2018 Dorothy Morley Award - Wildlife in Ascot
Congratulations to Wildlife in Ascot, Hilary Phillips remarked on what particularly impressed the judges;
‘Wildlife in Ascot are deserving winners of the Dorothy Morley Award 2018. As a group they have worked tirelessly to engage the local community and inspire a programme of activities to benefit local wildlife. Their methodical and strategic approach to this has been commendable, ensuring that their efforts have maximum impact, are included in planning policy as part of the Neighbourhood Plan and reflect regional and national biodiversity initiatives. They have taken an evidential approach and a long-view of how best to improve their local patch for wildlife.
Everyone from the local scouts to schools, university, Local Authorities and even the local racecourse have been involved in some way, and they all seem to be having a great deal of fun in the process!’
Runner up - The Renewal Project, Newbury
Andy Clark from the St Paul’s Churchyard Tree Succession Project: “We are all absolutely delighted with this award. It has been a great pleasure to be involved in a real team effort, with everyone contributing their different interest and expertise.
“In securing the future of the trees in the churchyard we have a growing appreciation that not only was the site home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, but also that this existing biodiversity could be greatly enhanced with careful planning and action. It has engaged lots of people in our local community with a project in which we all share the rewards. I look forward to helping the churchyard become an even more welcoming place for people and wildlife.”
Dan Akam, Community Wildlife Officer for Berkshire with the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust praised the St Paul’s churchyard project. “They are very worthy winners. The judges were impressed by the passion and willingness of the group to improve the churchyard for the benefit for the whole community; they are clearly very knowledgeable about their patch and are putting a lot of thought, time and effort into the project.
“They have also identified the importance of producing baseline surveys of existing wildlife with the aim of developing a longer term management plan to improve the site, which is what they will spend some of the prize money on.”
The group has carefully balanced the need to make sure certain parts of the churchyard are maintained neatly with the needs of wildlife by leaving some areas to grow a bit wild, with taller grasses and wild flowers providing cover for movement around the churchyard.
The local community is involved through an active advisory group that organises events such as a hedge planting day where local people, including Scouts, put in new native hedge and tree plants, as well as bat and moth-watching evenings. Local volunteers also work fortnightly alongside Community Payback participants on maintenance tasks.
The runner-up group was Newbury College, which received an award of £500.
The Mumbery Nature Reserve Volunteers in Wargrave won the top award in the Dorothy Morley Conservation Awards, for their project creating a fascinating and wildlife-rich nature reserve, which local schoolchildren explore on nature trails and bug hunts.
Dan Akam, Community Wildlife Officer for Berkshire, praised the group’s achievements. “The judges were impressed with the ways they created special features so that schoolchildren and local residents can get close to their local wildlife. It is still a work in progress but already children are having nature lessons in the outdoor classroom, there’s wildlife in the pond, and the new hedgerows are bearing fruit this autumn.”
The runner-up group was Five A Day Market Garden in Englefield, which received an award of £500.
Make Space for Life based in Maidenhead won first prize of £1,000. The group meets every month to carry out vital conservation work including the revival of a traditional pond and restoration of local woodland at North Town Moor and along the Greenway.
Awards judge and Berkshire Community Wildlife Officer Rhiannon Harrington commented: “Make Space for Life is a new and dedicated band of volunteers who aim to inspire local people to improve their natural environment. They’ve made fantastic progress over the last 18 months! What was once an uninviting and somewhat intimidating thoroughfare is now a glorious haven for wildlife, as well as a safe place for local people to spend time in the outdoors.”
The runners-up group and winners of £500 award is Friends of Wargrave Chalk Pit in Wargrave. The group of local residents led a campaign to rescue the site from threat of development and is now encouraging more people to explore this tranquil place. Awards judge Rhiannon Harrington said: “They recently held a BioBlitz to learn more about the bugs and butterflies, newts and bats in this geological gem.”
Who was Dorothy Morley
Dorothy Morley (1925-1995) was a strong campaigner on rural issues as Chairman of Newbury and Hungerford District Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) for many years and an active member of the West Berkshire committee of the Berks, Bucks and Oxon
Dorothy’s passionate interest in wildlife, gardening and conservation has provided the inspiration for this award. She believed in protecting the living environment as a means of improving quality of life for all – and in the ability of local people to participate in community-based conservation projects.