DEVON Wildlife Trust has launched a new award to highlight the wonderful work local community groups are doing to encourage struggling nature.

The Wilder Communities Award is the idea of Devon Wildlife Trust. The inaugural award has been made recently to an East Devon community.

Awards are open to everyone in Devon – from groups of allotment holders and workplace employees to residents’ associations, schools and care home communities.

Staff at the conservation charity are keen to stress that the scheme is not a competition. Instead, applications will be reviewed by Devon Wildlife Trust’s Wilder Communities Team.

The application process is open now and can be completed on-line via the Trust’s website. Applicants can find lots of guidance, examples and ideas about how to help local wildlife.

Applications to the Wilder Community application process is free.

Each Wilder Communities Award will be made for 12 months, but communities can look to re-new year-on-year.

The schemes organisers hope that this will encourage communities to develop their wildlife plans over time, making them more ambitious and increasing their positive impact.

Katie Wilkinson is Devon Wildlife Trust Wilder Communities Team Lead.

Katie said: ‘We have been inspired by the hundreds communities across Devon who are leading amazing projects to help wildlife where they live, learn, work, or socialise. So, we have launched a brand-new award to celebrate their efforts.

‘There is so much to be hopeful for when we see so many people dedicating their time to help nature’s recovery.

‘From holding environmental festivals to running community science projects or managing a local greenspace for wildlife, and campaigning to get swift nesting boxes installed in a town centre.

‘When communities work together on a common cause they can achieve great things.

‘Thinking globally and acting locally will help us build a sustainable future where nature and people can thrive.’