Two South Downs projects shortlisted for award

Volunteers tackling invasive Himalyan balsam - Pic: www.photographersussex.com
Volunteers tackling invasive Himalyan balsam - Pic: www.photographersussex.com

Two South Downs National Park projects have been shortlisted for an award.

The Arun and Rother Connections Project and Butterfly Conservation Sussex Branch have been selected in the final six, from 26 ‘excellent nominations’, by a judging panel.

The Duke of Burgundy butterfly PNL-160226-143841001

The Duke of Burgundy butterfly PNL-160226-143841001

A grant of £2,000 will be awarded to the winner of the Campaign for National Parks’ Park Protector Award, due to be announced in October.

The award aims to ‘recognise, rewards and celebrate exceptional projects that are making a lasting contribution to the protection, restoration or conservation of the National Parks of England and Wales’.

In a statement about the shortlist, the Arun and Rother Connections project volunteers were highlighted.

It said: “1.2 million people use the water that filters through the chalk of the South Downs on a daily basis.

Pond training event at Pulborough Brooks - www.photographersussex.com

Pond training event at Pulborough Brooks - www.photographersussex.com

“The Arun and Rother Connections project works with over 1,000 volunteers to run a diverse suite of activities which promote a rich, thriving river system, where wildlife flourishes and people value and enjoy the landscape.”

While the Butterfly Conservation Sussex Branch project was credited for ‘working tirelessly’ to increase the numbers of Duke of Burgundy butterflies.

This work has seen the numbers ‘rise exponentially’ from eight being spotted in Sussex in 2003, to 1,487 seen in 2016.

Caroline Quentin, the new Campaign for National Parks President, admitted learning about the ‘fantastic projects’ has been a ‘wonderful way’ to start her role.

She said: “These projects are the perfect demonstration of how much people care about National Parks and want to improve them for the future.”

Jeremy Colls, from the award’s sponsors Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust, added: “The overriding message is the remarkable level of volunteer commitment that is evident among the groups taking part. Many people really do care about maintaining and improving our rural environment, and convert their passion into action to achieve tangible results.”

For more information visit www.cnp.org.uk