News Stories

Butterfly Conservation shortlisted for National Prize
18 August 2015

Photo of Large Blue at Collard Hill – Butterfly Conservation - Painswick Valley credited to Peter Eeles (12 June 08)

Butterfly Conservation has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award at the 2015 Biffa Awards. A ceremony which recognises the people who build communities and transform lives through Biffa Award funded projects.

The Conserving the Painswick Valley’s rare butterflies project will now compete against three other organisations from across the country for the chance to be named winner of the ‘Rebuilding Biodiversity’ category and receive a £1,500 prize!

The restoration and conservation project received £48,566 in funding from Biffa Award for the improvement and restoration of Lowland Calcareous Grassland habitat to help re-establish functioning metapopulations of the Large Blue and Duke of Burgundy (UKBAP Priority Species) in the Painswick Valley. The project has meant that over five hectares of scrub has been cleared on eleven project sites and larval foodplant resource has increased. Habitat was improved by contracted practical conservation work, volunteer work parties and management advice to help target grazing, scrub management and planting. Biffa Award funding also allowed local nurseries to grow plug plants of the larval foodplants, Cowslip and Wild Thyme. The grant also funded an ecological contractor to conduct habitat assessment. The project has had a positive impact on the local community in a number of ways, from aesthetically improving habitat for the local residents who walk on the sites and live nearby to involving local volunteers in work parties.

The Biffa Awards 2015 will be held on October 1 at the Coventry Transport Museum. All the finalists will be invited to attend a day of celebrating the passion and commitment of those who dedicate their lives to building communities and transforming lives; benefiting those around them, as well as the environment.

Competition has been fierce from the start, with more than 240 projects eligible to enter the awards under five different categories: Community Buildings, Cultural Facilities, Rebuilding Biodiversity, Recreation and Small Grants.

Category winners at the Awards will receive a trophy and prize money of £1,500, which can be used to further develop their project.  Each winner then has the chance of being crowned the Overall Winner for 2015, receiving a further £1,000 prize.

Gillian French, Biffa Award Programme Manager, said:
 “The Biffa Awards have been held for over 10 years and each year they create a fantastic opportunity for us to celebrate and recognise the dedicated people who are delivering some of the excellent projects we have funded. A great deal of the projects we support have a huge and lasting impact on their local community and environment, so to be shortlisted for an award is a wonderful achievement in itself.  Our judges have a difficult but exciting task ahead in choosing the winners.”