BECKY Falls has been shortlisted for a prestigious new award for its Ancient Woodland Restoration Project.

The Great British Wildlife Restoration is the first such competition of its kind. Inspired by David Attenborough’s ‘Wild Isles’, this is a new initiative from BIAZA (The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums) which seeks to raise the profile of the native species conservation work being undertaken by hardworking zoo and aquarium conservationists.

The Ancient Woodland Restoration Project at Becky Falls is one of 22 innovative projects on the shortlist. Others include saving the Scottish wildcat from extinction, reintroducing bison and even rewinding glow-worms.

The project at Becky Falls hopes to restore and regenerate one of Britain’s rarest habitats: temperate rainforest. Becky Falls Ancient Woodland Park is not only a visitor attraction but also a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

The Ancient Woodland Restoration Project aims to protect and preserve the woodland through a variety of strategies, including combatting invasive plants and transplanting plants such as holly to give wildlife valuable habitats and food sources.

A spokesperson for Becky Falls, said: ‘Becky Falls is delighted to be recognised for its Ancient Woodland Restoration Project which aims to protect the Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) status and preserve the woodland for future generations.

‘Members of Parliament and the House of Lords will now vote for the winner. You can get involved by asking your local MP to vote for the Becky Falls Ancient Woodland Restoration Project and help spread the word about the work being done to help nature thrive and create lovely habitats in the Great British Countryside.’

These projects will now be competing for the votes of Members of Parliament and Members of the House of Lords to take home the title of winner of the Great British Wildlife Restoration at a special reception in the Houses of Parliament in January.

Dr Jo Judge, CEO of BIAZA, said; ‘We have an extraordinary shortlist of projects. They demonstrate that zoos and aquariums are not just saving exotic species but supporting wildlife on our doorstep.

‘We have to treasure the nature we have and help it thrive. It should be widely known that BIAZA zoos and aquariums are doing just that. It’s a source of hope and something we can all be proud of.’