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Award for Elmley National Nature Reserve

Elmley National Nature Reserve on Sheppey has won a Life on Land award for working with nature.

Gareth and Georgina Fulton, who operate the former RSPB site, were among five winners of the competition organised by Redlist Revival.

Elmley Nature Reserve on the Isle of Sheppey. Picture: Gareth Fulton
Elmley Nature Reserve on the Isle of Sheppey. Picture: Gareth Fulton

Redlist's chief executive Edward Darling said: “We are delighted to celebrate their success and to promote their knowledge and experience so more people can act on global issues.

"It is everyone’s responsibility to make a world of difference as exemplified by our award-winners. They are helping us build a Life Map of resources, species-by-species and county-by-county."

The family-run farm, which has marshland rich in wildlife plus nature trails and custom-made shepherd's huts to stay in and watch the wildlife from, submitted data on lapwings.

Gareth and Georgina said: "For us, Elmley is a place of soul-stirring skies and rejuvenated life. It’s a place which brings happiness, calm and permanence to many people.

"Our lapwings are the symbol of this annual rejuvenation of abundant life on the marshes which we hope inspires and enthuses everyone who visits.”

Lapwings on Elmley Nature Reserve on the Isle of Sheppey. Picture: Gareth Fulton
Lapwings on Elmley Nature Reserve on the Isle of Sheppey. Picture: Gareth Fulton

One of the judges, Mark Bridgeman, president of the Country Land and Business Association, said: "It is no surprise to see the endeavours of the current generation continuing with the work undertaken by Georgina’s parents Philip and Corrine Merricks.

"Elmley is not just a reserve where species are clinging on to remnants of a declining population but is a thriving inland water and wetland habitat where species abundance flourishes year after year.”

Last year, 53 sites submitted data to the Life Map. Other winners came from Hampshire, Yorkshire, West Sussex and Lincolnshire.

Shepherd's hut at Elmley Nature Reserve, Sheppey, after a storm. Picture: John Nurden
Shepherd's hut at Elmley Nature Reserve, Sheppey, after a storm. Picture: John Nurden

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