Axe Vale conservation group wins top award

PUBLISHED: 07:57 12 October 2018 | UPDATED: 07:58 12 October 2018

Axe Vale and District Conservation Society chairman Doug Rudge (far right) with the Acland Award alongside representatives of highly commended groups. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Axe Vale and District Conservation Society chairman Doug Rudge (far right) with the Acland Award alongside representatives of highly commended groups. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Archant

Society is recognised for its work to promote health and wellbeing through connections with the natural environment.

Axe Vale and District Conservation Society has received a top award for its efforts to promote health and wellbeing through connections with the natural environment.

It has won the Acland Award which is given annually by East Devon AONB to an organisation, business or individual that has demonstrated examples of excellence or outstanding activity in its area.

This year’s award celebrates projects that seek to enhance people’s physical and/or mental health through closer connection with the environment of the East Devon AONB.

The conservation group was recognised for its work in encouraging people of all ages to lead more physically active lifestyles and discover the benefits of getting outdoors, via its varied walking programme running throughout the year and conservation work parties.

Chris Woodruff, partnership manager of East Devon AONB, said: “Making connections with other people and physically experiencing the outdoors have been proven, time and again, to improve both physical and mental wellbeing.”

“AV&DCS have managed to put both the community and conservation at the heart of their activities. By offering opportunities to socialise with others, get active, confidently experience nature and contribute to meaningful conservation projects, they make a significant impact on East Devon wellbeing. The results are invaluable”.

Other projects to be shortlisted for the award, were Otter Valley Association, who were highly commended, East Devon Walk this Way and Wild East Devon - both commended.

Awards were presented by Dave Stone, deputy chief scientist at Natural England, as part of the recent East Devon AONB Partnership annual event, which also featured Virginia Pearson, director of public health for Devon County Council and environmental artist Anne-Marie Culhane.

On receiving the Acland Award winners trophy, a bronze buzzard design by Devon artist Emma Macfadyen, chairman of the AV&DCS, Doug Rudge, said: “As a charity that is run by a small group of unpaid volunteers in our spare time, AV&DCS have been doing our best to make a difference in and around the Axe estuary since the 1980’s. Our programme of activities help members and non-members alike to get closer to their natural environment. To be selected as winners of the Acland Award for 2018 proves that we must be doing something right!”

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