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Community Payback reaches semi-finals

29 January 2016

Our Community Payback team has reached the semi-finals of the NOMS Wildlife Award for their work protecting wildlife and natural habitats.

Working with the Swingbridge Community Project and Surrey Care Trust, our CP teams led by Project Coordinator Mike Palmer, have been maintaining the towpaths and conservations areas along the River Wey and connected waterways.   

Our service users have learnt how to undertake tasks such as vegetation clearance, coppicing and pollarding trees, protecting the soft banks of the waterways using weaved hurdles, hedge laying and the control of invasive species.  To complete this work, some of them have also learnt how to use hand and powered gardening tools. All this experience will be valuable to our service users, opening up and improving their prospects for future employment. 

Protecting this natural habitat will help to stop the decline of creatures native to the area, including reed buntings, reed warblers, sedge warblers, water rail, snipe and the great crested newt.  

Dr Phil Thomas, NOMS Sustainable Operations Team and a member of the award judging panel, says “ We would like to congratulate you and your team for their committed efforts in the field of biodiversity. It’s most heart-warming to see such dedication and commitment from those staff and offenders who have gone beyond the normal working criteria to enhance their local environment and benefit both flora and fauna and the community.”

‘Scythes crossed’ for the next round of judging, due to take place the week of 14 March. 

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