Kent Wildlife Trust has announced the very first winners of its new initiative, the Wilder Kent Awards, which recognise schools and community groups that are taking positive actions towards combating the climate and nature crisis.
Kent Wildlife Trust has been working with schools and communities across the county to pilot the scheme and launch the awards this year.
As well as celebrating positive action taken to address the threats to the natural world, the scheme also promotes those schools and community groups that help connect adults and children with wildlife. In doing so it acknowledges the importance of nature in supporting mental health and wellbeing and the positive impacts that connecting with nature can have for people and communities.
Keeley Atkinson, People Engagement Manager at Kent Wildlife Trust said:
“For us, it is vital to acknowledge these groups whose actions restore nature locally whilst also helping tackle the global environmental threat we face.
These actions can be big or small, as long as they contribute to making a difference to helping nature. Our criteria covers actions from doing what you can to help the environment and being more sustainable, such as recycling and reducing your plastic use by opting for more eco-friendly packaging to educating people about our local environment and engaging with nature.”
This year’s worthy winners were:
Silver Award Winner: Communigrow - a food education charity based in East Malling, Aylesford. They have been developing areas of their site, allowing nature and wildlife to thrive. Being involved in the award scheme has given their staff and volunteers new opportunities to learn about nature and how to protect local ecosystems.
Naomi Jenkins, Education Coordinator at Communigrow said:
“We’ve been inspired by Kent Wildlife Trust to get involved in the Wilder Kent Awards and we’ve created spaces for nature and wildlife to thrive around the site. Everyone involved has shown real enthusiasm and passion for creating a Wilder Kent and I’m very honoured to be receiving this award on their behalf.
“When we started this project, we hoped to achieve an increase in a number of learning opportunities available for people to get new skills while connecting with nature and protecting local ecosystems.
“To be acknowledged in this way feels like a great achievement which is the result of hard work of our team and volunteers.
“Moving forward we plan to continue to further expand our education offer making sure we provide a safe environment to local communities to learn about growing food and reconnecting with nature".