Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s Potteric Carr Nature Reserve wins CIWEM’s Sustainable Wetland of the Year Award

Posted: Wednesday 31st December 2014

Wetlands are important not only for wildlife and people, but their development can help restore ecosystems and underpin the management of a changing climate. To be sustainable there must be a range of supporting partners and the CIWEM Sustainable Wetland of the Year Award seeks to recognise this multi-functional approach to the development of wetland habitats.

Commenting on the 2014 winning project, Paul Horton (CIWEM), one of this years judges said: “This innovative project stood out as it exemplifies how wetlands can sucessfully offer multiple environmental benefits including ecosystem services, provision of wildlife-rich habitat and natural flood risk management. The project has been successful in addressing the challenges of delivering a scheme of this size, as well as encouraging community involvement throughout.”

The 210 hectare site, which is located south of Doncaster, was first managed by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust in 1968, however at a much reduced size (12 ha). Over time the area of the site gradually increased by purchase or lease to its current size. Since the early 2000s, significant areas of reedbed have been installed in addition to the creation of 10km of footpath and 13 hides. Innovative elements of the project include reedbed filtration to improve local water quality and the construction of environmentally friendly buildings on site. The Potteric Carr Nature Reserve plays a key role in the River Torne Living Landscaps initative and contributes to Biodiversity Action Plan targets for wetlands. The success of the site now speaks for itself, with an avergae of 26,700 visitors per year.

Caroline Thorogood, Director of Operations for Yorkshire Wildlife Trust said about winning the award: “We are delighted to have been selected by CIWEM for this award. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is committed to sustainable development that is beneficial for both wildlife and people across all our 96 sites in Yorkshire, including Potteric Carr Nature Reserve in Doncaster.

“This award has given us a real boost by recognising all the hard work that has gone into Potteric Carr Nature Reserve to accomplish this aim over the years; something that we would have struggled to achieve without the support of our 38,000 members, volunteers and partner organisations.”

The Trust has worked with many partners, including Network Rail. The project was funded by the EU LIFE nature prgramme, HSBC, Natural England, Heritage Lottery Fund and Network Rail among others. The overall cost of the project is thought to be around £2.4 million.

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