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Rainham Marshes scoops eco award

17:37 28 March 2013

The Marshes picked up the green award recently. Photo: Andy Hay/RSPB

The Marshes picked up the green award recently. Photo: Andy Hay/RSPB

© RSPB-IMAGES AND ITS IMAGE CONTRIBUTORS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This image is protected by international copyright laws and dist

Rainham Marshes RSPB Reserve was recognised for its continuous work to transform the site into a natural haven for migratory birds and local wildlife at an awards evening in Essex.

The lapwing drew hundreds to the Marshes. Picture: Clive WattsThe lapwing drew hundreds to the Marshes. Picture: Clive Watts

The Thurrock Business Award praised the reserve for having eco-friendly facilities, its “warm and welcoming” visitor centre and commitment to reducing carbon output by three per cent every year.

Melanie Worman, visitor services manager, received the award on behalf of the Marshes.

She said: “Winning the Thurrock Business award for Environmental Awareness shows we are doing something right, not only for birds and wildlife, but also for the people living in Thurrock, Havering and beyond, who can visit us and get close to all the fantastic wildlife Rainham Marshes boasts.”

Melanie worked alongside staff to reduce carbon outputs by installing solar panels and wind turbines and encouraging volunteers and workers to car-pool, with plans to improve their renewable energy machinery and better utilise recycling in order to continue their commendable achievements and win future awards.

Melanie with the award. Picture: Howard VaughanMelanie with the award. Picture: Howard Vaughan

First formed to combat the trade in “fashionable” bird plumes – used to stylise women’s hats and attire in the late 19th century – the RSPB has grown rapidly.

The reserve is one of the few ancient landscapes remaining in London.

Bought in 2000 the land had previously been off-limits to the public as it was used as a military firing range for 100 years.

The marshes are now a home to many different creatures, from birds of prey to water voles to a resident barn owl, even hosting a safe haven for visitors to catch a bite to eat or a mug of something warm at the café and visitor centre whilst they observe the nature around them

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