THE Wildlife Watch Group in Newcastleton has won the 2018 national award for the best wildlife group in the UK.
They were up against more than 300 other groups but came out on top after impressing the panel of judges for their wide-ranging work with children.
Last Friday Nick Wright of the Scottish Wildlife Trust came to meet the members and their leader, Wendy Patterson, and present them with certificates and a trophy.
Wendy said she would like to thank everyone for coming: parents, carers, grandparents, siblings, members and guests.
She said a special thank you to Buccleuch Estates, Wild Eskdale, the South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Skye Webster with Iris the barn owl.
She also thanked Ellen Cumming for the beautiful flower posies and Cal Edge for the most amazing cake, adorned with an owl.
Well done all
Wendy said: “At the end of each year I post our logbook to enter the wildlife awards which are scrutinised by a panel of judges.
“The logbook consists of photos, drawings, survey graphs, pressed flowers and feathers.
“We’re also asked to use one side of A4 paper to list our dates and activities for the whole year. It’s a squeeze. I also write a piece about how our club is run.”
Rory Syme of the Scottish Wildlife Trust said: “We’re immensely proud for Wendy and everyone involved in Newcastleton Wildlife Watch.
“The judges were particularly impressed by how much input group members are given into choosing activities and the way older children are able to get involved in the group by becoming helpers.
“Young people have a really important role in helping to tackle the crisis facing Scotland’s nature.
“It’s clear that Newcastleton Wildlife Watch is playing a part in that by inspiring children to appreciate and value wildlife.”