Ruddington Nature Pioneer Receives Recognition

The driving force behind a Ruddington nature reserve is among the winners of this year’s ‘Celebrating Rushcliffe Awards’.  For 2021 a ‘physical’ ceremony returned – and was held last night (December 8th) at The Rushcliffe Arena. 

Gordon Dyne, Chair of the South Notts Local Group of Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, received recognition for his conservation work at Wilwell Farm Cutting Nature Reserve. Gordon is pictured above receiving his trophy from (L to R) Tom Holodynsky of Great Northern Group, Leader of Rushcliffe Borough Council Cllr Simon Robinson and and Mayor of Rushcliffe Cllr Sue Mallender. Whilst he’s delighted with his ‘Pride of Rushcliffe Award’ he’s keen to point out that it’s very much a community effort.

“Much of what I do is about promoting wildlife and nature conservation in Rushcliffe” explains Gordon. “Indeed I would have achieved very little at Wilwell Nature Reserve with the South Notts Local Group, or with the Nature Conservation Strategy, if other folk hadn’t been prepared to join in; turning up for work parties, helping organize events (or turning up to them !) or joining in the inevitable committee meetings.” He adds: “Whilst much of what I do is volunteering, my time working for Wilwell Farm Cutting itself is a hobby. It is a quite an enclave on the edge of Ruddington Parish (a bit muddy in winter) but is particularly lovely in the the spring and summer as the variety of wildflowers come and go. In a typical year I can record some 120-125 species, never mind the trees, grasses, moths, butterflies and who knows what other insects, etc, etc. It is a wildlife island to be protected and, hopefully, reconnected with other local sites.”

Also recognised from Ruddington was ‘Paradise Allotments’ off Wilford Road – which won the ‘Health and Wellbeing Award’. As previously reported, the team have worked hard to transform the allotment to create a tranquil and calming space for the local community.

Representatives from Paradise Allotments collecting their award

The Rushcliffe Social Prescribing Group run a plot here which has received funds and generous donations from various sources. A summer house was purchased using a grant from Everards Brewery (with Protek Wood Stain donating the paint for it), Tomlinson’s laid an accessible path and patio for the allotment plot, a greenhouse was donated by John and Angela from plot 7 at Paradise Allotments, Shaun from Coalville donated oak barrels to be used as planters for herbs and flowers, plants and soil were donated by those who support the project, whilst a ‘Reach Rushcliffe’ grant was used to purchase accessible planters and troughs.

The space itself was donated by Ruddington Parish Council to give those at risk of social isolation or loneliness in the Borough – including people with physical health conditions as well as mental health issues – a quiet space to socialise, learn about gardening and to meet with likeminded individuals.

Allotmenteer Sheena Gibbons, says: “Our desire is to really make a difference to people’s lives, however small – not only helping them with their mental wellbeing but their physical wellbeing, too.” Mandy Fletcher adds: “We were very pleased to win the award as it means all the hard work from patients, staff, and allotmenteers was worthwhile.”

Sophie Taylor, Social Prescriber and lead on the project for the Social Prescribing Team, explains: “As social prescribers, we promote health and wellbeing. We are happy to have the beginnings of a resource for the patients of Rushcliffe where it is a safe space for us all to learn together the importance of growing – both literally and metaphorically.”

The new accessible planters at Paradise Gardens Allotments

Meanwhile Ruddington based company Ideagen was the sponsor for ‘Young Person or Group of the Year’ which was won by Liv Steer and Finlay Traynor.

Cllr Robinson led the praise to all those shortlisted for an award and to the many local sponsors who supported the accolades. He says: “Many congratulations to our winners and to all those who were shortlisted and nominated. Gordon’s story is just one wonderful example of the incredible spirit across the Borough and chimed so well with our environmental priorities as a Council. The event highlighted so many who give so much to their community, group or organisation and particularly in what has been such another tough year for so many of us.”

He adds: “Whether volunteer, business owner or community hero, they are all making a difference to people’s lives and are hugely deserving of this recognition. Thank you to everyone who nominated a group or individual, it was wonderful to celebrate their achievements.”

And that’s not all…

There’s additional cause for celebration in our village at the moment after three independent, Ruddington traders were recognised in the local business awards run by Rushcliffe MP Ruth Edwards to find ‘The Best Pub in Rushcliffe’ and ‘Best Local Shop in Rushcliffe’ – which she announced at ‘Ruddington Christmas Market’ as part of ‘Small Business Saturday’.

The Framebreakers pub was a runner-up in the former, whilst Philo’s Coffee & Gift Shop and The Pet Pantry were runners-up in the latter – and that’s out of businesses voted for from the whole of Rushcliffe.

Our congratulations to all three!

Related posts