A treasured South Yorkshire beauty spot, enjoyed by nearly 27,000 visitors a year, has been awarded a leading sustainability prize.
Potteric Carr Nature Reserve, south of Doncaster, has been under the careful stewardship of local charity, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust (YWT), for more than four decades and its precious landscape and wildlife habitat has gradually expanded over the years, from just 12 hectares (ha) in 1968 to 210 ha today.
To reward efforts to nurture the site, the Trust has been awarded the prestigious ‘Sustainable Wetland of the Year’ award from the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM).
The award recognises that wetlands are important not only for wildlife and people, but that their development can also help restore ecosystems and underpin the management of a changing climate. To be eligible, the wetland must demonstrate that it is sustainable, with a number of supporting partners driving it forward and its habitats must provide multi-functional services, from space for wildlife to flood water storage as at Potteric Carr.
Paul Horton, membership and development director at CIWEM and one of the award judges, said: “This innovative project stood out as it exemplifies how wetlands can successfully offer multiple environmental benefits including ecosystem services, provision on wildlife-rich habitat and natural flood risk management.”
Over the last decade at Potteric Carr, significant areas of reedbed have been added and 10km of footpath and 13 hides have been created. The site was one of eight nationally nominated for the award and the only one in Yorkshire.
Caroline Thorogood, operations director for YWT, said: “This award has given us a real boost by recognising all the hard work that has gone into Potteric Carr over the years to accomplish this aim; something that we would have struggled to achieve without the support of our 38,000 members, volunteers and partner organisations.”