The scheme started in 1996 and the first awards were made in 1997. The idea behind the awards has been to celebrate what the best parks are doing for the British countryside and to encourage others to follow their lead.
The Parks that take part in the scheme are all regularly assessed by the scheme’s team of local wildlife experts.
The assessors look at the steps Parks are taking to:
- Manage their land as a haven for wildlife
- Reduce their use of energy, water and other resources
- Reduce, reuse and recycle the waste they produce
- Support their local communities
David Bellamy uses the assessors’ report to make his awards each year. Three levels of excellence can be achieved: Gold, Silver and Bronze. Professor Bellamy also reserves the right to issue on occasion “Special Distinction Awards” to those Parks which have gone “the extra mile” in innovation in creating conservation initiatives. Wyre Vale and Acresfield are among a small group of Parks who can boast this achievement.