Congratulations Wilder Kent Award Winners

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Kent Wildlife Trust Awards Schools and Community Groups that are tackling the Climate and Nature Crisis

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". 

Bronze Award Winners: 

Wouldham All Saints CEP School is a primary school near Rochester. They offer the opportunity for all children to complete a full Forest School programme during the school year. During these sessions, children have the chance to connect with nature and learn more about wildlife and the environment. 

Students at Wouldham All Saints CEP School said:  

“When we started this project, we wanted to make a greater impact on the wildlife within our school and less of an impact on the environment. We have a great opportunity to make a difference to our local environment and we really enjoyed using some of Kent Wildlife Trust’s resources to achieve this, such as building ponds, making a compost heap and building our own bird boxes.”  

Oakwood Park Grammar School is in Maidstone. They have a team of students who form the ‘green club’. These students focus on wildlife, sustainability, and climate change, looking at ways to improve the school. They have recently installed a wildlife pond within their grounds and have secured funding to expand and enhance this in the future. 

Hazel Alltimes, teacher at Oakwood Park Grammar School said:  

“When we started this project back in September our aim was to create little pockets and corridors of wildlife friendly spaces around our school – moving forwards we hope to continue with our plans, some of which are extending our wildlife pond and also building more bird and bat boxes. To be acknowledged through this Wilder Kent Award feels extremely rewarding.”  

Kent Wildlife Trust will open registrations for their 2021 Wilder Kent Awards at the end of this year and are keen to hear from anyone who works or volunteers for a school or community group, and has a passion for wildlife, nature and the environment. 

Visit the Wilder Kent Awards page to get in touch with the team.