Expert work to preserve and enhance some of the Stroud District’s most important wildlife habitats has won a top nature accolade.
Stroud District Council principal planning officer Conrad Moore was presented with a Natural England award for strategies drawn up for how Rodborough Common and the Severn Estuary cope with rising numbers of people living nearby.
SDC Environment Committee chairman Cllr Simon Pickering (Green Party) said: “With endless doom and gloom stories about loss of wildlife it is great news that Stroud District Council through its local plan is acting as a custodian some of the finest wildlife spectacles in Europe for future generations.
“Wild and semi natural habitats along with their associated species not only have an intrinsic value of their own but can also provide ecosystem services to humans as well as uplifting our spirits and improving mental health.”
The Natural England West Midlands Conservation Awards celebrate the achievements of farmers and land managers who enhance habitat for wildlife across the region, and Conrad picked up the first award for Gloucestershire at a ceremony in the Wyre Forest, Worcestershire.
Contributions from new homes builders have paid for cattle grids, a leaflet Caring For The Commons til the Cows Come Home and practical conservation work on Rodborough Common Special Area of Conservation which Conrad and the council have achieved through a recreational mitigation strategy.
Now Conrad and the council are working in the Severn Estuary as a requirement of habitat regulations. So far he has facilitated a partnership between Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and private estates such as Frampton Estate.
Within this partnership he is making headway to developing a set of mitigations that developers can contribute towards to help alleviate recreation pressure on a sensitive area where birds roost at high tide.
At the same time, he has also been sharing the benefit of this strategy to the wider local authority partnerships of the Severn Estuary.
Conrad was presented with the Natural England West Midlands Conservation Award, for securing funding for practical conservation work on Rodborough Common and work with a partnership in the Severn Estuary, by Natural England Chair Andrew Sells.
“It is great to be recognised by Natural England for our conservation efforts,” said Conrad. “The award would not be possible without the close co-operation and partnership working of so many of our project partners within these areas.
“The award recognises all our ongoing work and delivery. I look forward to enabling people to enjoy and appreciate our important places in a responsible manner. Our wildlife and landscape is what makes Stroud such a wonderful and unique place to be in.”
Conrad Moore (left) and Natural England Chair Andrew Sells