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05 Feb 2018

Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust campaign nominated for prestigious award

Posted in Latest news

WWT is crossing its fingers as voting gets underway to select the winners of the BBC Countryfile Magazine awards 2018.

The charity’s Flight of the Swans has been nominated for ‘conservation success of the year’ by the popular publication which celebrates British countryside and its people.

Their readers were invited to send in their suggestions and an expert panel whittled down the nominees to just five in each category.

>> Voting to select a victor will run until midnight on Monday, March 5.

WWT’s very own human swan Sacha Dench said:

“We’re delighted to make the shortlist! Although Flight of the Swans was ambitious in its scale, we never dreamed that we’d reach so many people across so many countries.

“From reindeer breeders and politicians, we met with countless people face-to-face, engaged with 54 schools, gathered 1 5,000 signatures for our petition and produced 1700 media articles along the route.

“A win in this category would be brilliant for WWT and all our partners. It would also add to the weight of our campaign and our ongoing efforts to unlock the secrets of the Bewick’s swan.”

Sacha, 42, flew 7000km on a paramotor – and an open cockpit microlight for extra speed – from the Bewick’s swans’ breeding ground in arctic Russia to WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre in Gloucestershire.

She braved ice cold temperatures, polar bears, injury, thunderstorms and snow to provide a birds eye view of the challenges facing the continent’s smallest and most threatened swan species.

The magazine’s expert panel comprises Countryfile presenter John Craven, BBC presenter and naturalist Miranda Krestovnikoff, author and adventurer Phoebe Smith, author and rural affairs journalist Mark Rowe, Sheena Harvey, BBC Wildlife Magazine editor and BBC Countryfile Magazine editor Fergus Collins.

Judge Phoebe Smith added:

“The BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards are so important. There’s nothing else like them to highlight the incredible landmarks, nature reserves, national parks and conservation initiatives so often overlooked but that really make a difference to our lives.

“It’s great to give credit to the well-known places and organisations – as well as getting chance to champion the underdogs that we personally know and love so well. Every single finalist should know they had an ardent supporter among us and well deserve their spot in the shortlist.”


The Short List

Holiday Destination of the Year 2018

Forest of Bowland

Pembrokeshire Coast

Isle of Wight



Pub of the Year 2018

The Old Forge, Knoydart, Lochaber

The Fox House, Longshaw, South Yorkshire

The Rugglestone Inn, Widecombe in the Moor, Devon

The Lock Keeper, Keynsham, Somerset

Square and Compass, Worth Matravers, Dorset

Beach of the Year 2018

Luskentyre Beach, Isle of Harris

Newborough, Anglesey

Holkham, Norfolk

Godrevy, Cornwall

Downhill Beach, County Derry

Nature Reserve of the Year 2018

RSPB Ham Wall, Somerset

Rodley NNR, Leeds

RSPB Arne, Dorset

Clara Vale, Tyne and Wear

Loch Druidibeg, South Uist

Landmark of the Year 2018

The Dark Hedges, County Antrim

High Force, County Durham

Minack Theatre, Cornwall

Callanish Stones, Isle of Lewis

Castell Dinas Bran, Denbighshire

Conservation Success of the Year 2018

British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR)

Isles of Scilly Seabird Recovery Project

Great British Beach Clean

The Highway England Mitigation Project

The Flight of the Swans (WWT)

Garden of the Year 2018

Bodnant Garden, Conwy

Coleton Fishacre, Devon

Rousham Gardens, Oxfordshire

Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall

Mount Stewart, County Down

Country Book of the Year 2018

The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris

Islander by Patrick Barkham

The Secret Life of Cows by Rosamund Young

Beyond Spring by Matthew Oates

The Wainwrights in Colour by Andy Beck

National Park of the Year 2018

New Forest

The Broads




Reader Photo of the Year 2018

Green and Granite by Robert Derrington

Model Subject by Andrew Fletcher

Cloud Cover by Chris Garner

Lively Light by Chris Mole

Tidal Mirror by Ashley Hemsley

Golden Feed by Helen Brassington

Stone Trove by Dave Mason

Time for Tea by Ray Hutchinson

Milling Around by Christopher Hill

Beyond the Bridge by John Dear

Stormy Spire by Chris Mole

Voracious Vole by Iain Fazackerley