National award for Hadleigh Wildlife Watch

Thursday 11th February 2016

A Suffolk wildlife group has been praised by a well-known naturalist after winning a prestigious national award.

Hadleigh Wildlife Watch was named as The Wildlife Trust’s best new group for its work in promoting the value of a wild childhood and encouraging children to take action for nature where they live.

Organisers of the award said the Hadleigh group, one of nine of Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s branches for junior members, had enjoyed a “brilliant first year” spending every session outdoors – planting acorns, learning about bats from Suffolk Bat Group and even lighting their own camp fire.

Judges said they were impressed the children, aged between five and 12, took control of the sessions themselves and helped plan future activities.

Hadleigh Wildlife Watch leaders Caroline Lee and Lisa Herron said they were “delighted to have won the award.”

Caroline said: “The group was set up in order to offer children and families in Hadleigh the opportunity to experience nature in and around their local area. We have really enjoyed planning our activities each month, and it has been wonderful to see how well they have been received.”

Lisa added: “We have been thrilled by the response of local families, and by the number of people who join us each month. The meetings enable us to meet new people, and to inspire a love of nature and the outdoors in children of all ages. It is fantastic that our efforts have been appreciated not only by our families, but also by the judges!”

Cambourne Wildlife Watch, based in Cambridgeshire, won Watch Group of the Year 2015 and Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust’s Alford Wildlife Watch Club took second place.

Naturalist and presenter Nick Baker, The Wildlife Trusts’ Vice President said: “The Wildlife Trusts’ network of Watch Groups is providing thousands of children with something very special and important – regular contact with nature and inspiring mentors to foster a love of wildlife. In an ideal world every child would be able to access groups like these so please support your Wildlife Trust and help us to reach more children and make every child wild.”

The Wildlife Watch groups are just one of the ways that Suffolk Wildlife Trust is working towards making Every Child Wild by giving children access to wild experiences: increasing their confidence and creativity, encouraging exercise, expanding their understanding of the world around them and giving them valuable social time, too.

Hadleigh Wildlife Watch group meets on the second Sunday of the month from 10am – 12 noon at locations in and around Hadleigh. For more information, contact Caroline Lee on 07817 375021 or email hadleighwildlifewatch@outlook.com