The virtual ceremony awarded Bird Aware Solent with the honour of best sustainability campaign in the public sector based on their tireless work helping to reduce disturbance to protected ducks, geese and wading birds.

Sarah Mukherjee, CEO of IEMA, said, 'Bird Aware Solent demonstrated a clear commitment to positive social engagement, communication, and training campaigns with a diverse group of stakeholders. They won their category for effective planning and a strategic vision in protecting local nature reserves, while also engaging with policymakers, local government, and housing developments.

All the winners can be proud of their achievements - action to tackle the climate and environmental crises we face requires business and industry, civil society and our politicians to step up and lead the transformation and change needed'.

The Partnership have a dedicated team of Rangers that engage with people along a 254km stretch of coastline to help increase understanding of the pressures the birds face. Bird Aware Solent were also recognised in the award as being integral to growing best practice across the UK, particularly in other areas facing similar challenges.

Councillor Seán Woodward Chairman of the Partnership for South Hampshire (PfSH), the body that oversees Bird Aware, adds, "I am so pleased that this worthy Partnership has been recognised for such an award. Bird Aware Solent provides some extremely important work that helps people to understand how recreational disturbance can affect the birds and their future. Our special area is in good hands."

As for the Bird Aware staff themselves, receiving the award was a massive boost to the whole team and the work they do. It was also a fitting tribute to the strength of the partnership, without whose support it would not be possible to achieve such great results.

Date of release: 23 September 2020