The Sanctuary Awards are held in recognition of both group and individual efforts undertaken to benefit wildlife, archaeology, environmental improvement or community awareness of conservation on or within MOD land in the UK or overseas.
The MOD also presented its Energy Awards for the first time at the ceremony. These awards aim to recognise individual energy managers or wardens, teams and projects for their efforts here in the UK and overseas to conserve energy and cut carbon emissions.
Amongst this year’s Sanctuary Awards winners are a project which provided Service families with the opportunity to grow their own produce and a team who worked to preserve rare First World War trenches.
See Related Links to read the latest edition of Sanctuary magazine.
Under Secretary of State and the Lords spokesman on Defence Lord Astor presented the Sanctuary Awards in London today. He also presented the MOD’s inaugural Energy Awards.
Presenting the awards Lord Astor said:
We’re here to honour the people who have gone that little bit further in conservation and smart energy use. You’ve challenged assumptions, taken decisions, and made changes that have led to positive benefits for the environment and, in many cases, saved the taxpayer considerable sums of money. The stewardship of the Defence Estate is clearly in good hands.
The ceremony also marked the launch of this year’s Sanctuary magazine. This is an annual publication which illustrates how the MOD is undertaking its responsibility for stewardship of the estate in the UK and overseas.
This year’s Sanctuary Award winners are:
Silver Otter and Sustainability Award
The Blandford Kitchen Garden Project won the top Silver Otter Award as well as the Sustainability Award for providing Service families with an opportunity to grow their own produce. The project began in October 2009 and involved relocating a football pitch to create 30 plots for members of the camp to grow their own fruit, vegetables and flowers. The Awards Board was enormously impressed by this achievement and the positive interaction between Service families and the local community.
Heritage Project Award
This project started in July 2009 when a network of First World War training trenches was discovered. RAF Halton seized the opportunity to discover evidence of army training, preserve this heritage and create a new educational and engagement resource. The trenches have been supported and hardened with planks of wood, corrugated metal and sandbags, just as they were on the Western Front during the Great War.
Individual Achievement Award
Mr Terry Moore won this award for his passion for Otmoor, which he has grazed with cows for decades. He has a small farm and tenancy on part of Otmoor and has been recognised for his traditional farming methods and contribution to conservation works on the moor.
Environmental Project Award
The Pirbright Deer Grazing Project started with discussions over SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) condition targets, grazing as a management mechanism and Wildlife Trust Partnerships. A project team from Defence Estates and the Surrey Wildlife Trust was formed to find a way to remove scrub and re-establish the species-rich heathland against the backdrop of the danger area of the Pirbright Ranges. A major milestone was reached when 20 deer were purchased and released onto the site in March this year. The move has already resulted in Natural England upgrading the condition of the SSSI.
The first Energy Award winners are:
Energy Manager Award
Kathryn Dunnell, Station Energy Manager at RAF Halton, took the initiative to roll out an Energy Management Strategy, which effectively saw her take control of energy management and set realistic and achievable targets for the station.
Project Energy Award
The RAF Utility Management Bureau Service has done outstanding work to save energy. It has responsibility for supporting carbon reduction targets across Air Command stations.
Warrant Officer Class 2 Graham Sheridan, of Bielefeld Station in Germany, won the Overseas Award for consistently promoting energy efficiency, and reducing waste and carbon emissions across the station.