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Not Just Scraping By – They Won!

Published: 28/11/2018

Flintshire’s coastal partnership project has won the Silver Green Apple Award for Environmental Best Practice in the national campaign to find the greenest individuals, companies, councils and communities. 

The partnership efforts of Flintshire Countryside Services, Amphibian Reptile Conservation Trust (ARC), Network Rail and Siemens have been recognised for their valuable conservation project, after been awarded the Silver Green Apple Award.   

This conservation work has been focused around two re-introduction sites for the natterjack toad.  These new habitat sites have involved hours of man power to clear scrub to accommodate Wales’ rarest amphibian. The natterjack toads’ habitats are confined to sand dune systems, upper salt marsh catchments and sandy heaths which in the past 100 years have reduced significantly.

In the mid-20th century, natterjacks were lost from Wales due to habitat fragmentation.  Following a survey in the early 1990s, a conservation effort reintroduced natterjack toads to their habitats in North Wales. The re-introduction project is on-going and this award has recognised how partnerships can revive rare species into their natural range.

The North Wales re-introduction programme is also recognised by ARC, who co-ordinate this project, as the most successful project in the UK. To date, they have successfully re-introduced natterjack toads to Gronant Dunes and Talacre Warren SSSI, Point of Ayr and Bettisfield.  Network Rail recently paid for the creation of a third scrape in Bettisfield.

Partners were presented with the award for their project “Not just scraping by: Natterjack Toad Habitat Creation & the North Wales Railway Upgrade”.  There were more than 800 other nominations in the Green Apple Awards.

Flintshire’s Countryside Coastal Ranger, Tim Johnson, said:

“I would like to thank Caitlin from Network Rail, for nominating this project for the award. This partnership project is going from strength to strength, it is invaluable to the conservation and development of our local sites and species.  The service as a whole is grateful to all the organisations involved and we are proud of the award received which highlights the achievements.”   

Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Streetscene and Countryside, Councillor Carolyn Thomas, said:

“I would like to congratulate the partners involved in this project for their award and thank them for their hard work.  Partnerships like this are vital to our local countryside and rare species.” 

Green apple award.jpg

L-R Green Apple representative, Maria Jarosz - Network Rail, Mandy Cartwright - ARC, Clint Williams and Alex Koscielski - Siemens, Tim Johnson - Flintshire County Council and Caitlin McCann -Network Rail