Somerset Wildlife Trust

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Somerset Wildlife Trust Volunteer Receives Prestigious Marine Conservation Award

 25th Oct 2016

Nigel Phillips, Somerset Wildlife Trust’s Coastal  Ambassador receives a Marsh Award to recognise his extensive efforts and commitment to marine conservation.




Tuesday 25th Oct 2016 - Somerset Wildlife Trust is incredibly proud to announce that its volunteer Coastal Ambassador,  Nigel Phillips, has been awarded the Marsh Christian Trust’s ‘Marsh Volunteer Award’. The Award was given in recognition of outstanding contributions to marine conservation by a Wildlife Trust volunteer,  and was presented to Nigel at Somerset wildlife Trust’s first ever Coastal Conference.

The Marsh Volunteer Awards exist to recognise unsung heroes who all aim to improve the world we live in through volunteering or academic excellence. Recipients of Marsh Awards range from scientists working in conservation biology and ecology, to authors and sculptors from the arts world, and those who give their time unselfishly to work with the young, the elderly, people with mental health issues and for our heritage.

Despite having had no formal training, Nigel  trained himself in coastal ecology and species identification and has developed an intimate knowledge of the coast, having spent hundreds of hours walking and surveying it. He  is now widely regarded as the leading authority in the county for all things coastal.   In 2010, Nigel  recognised the importance and diversity of our coastal and marine environment, realised it was an under-appreciated asset and volunteered his services to the Trust to champion it.

Jolyon Chesworth, SWT’s Health & Wellbeing Manager, who nominated Nigel, feels incredibly privileged to be able to support Nigel’s nomination.

“Nigel’s skill is in communicating his knowledge and passion, and he does this with enormous energy and enthusiasm. In 2013, in recognition of his work and value, Nigel was made Somerset Wildlife Trust’s Coastal  Ambassador and has since organised a full and varied programme of coastal and marine events, and  brought together a dedicated intertidal survey volunteer group, both of which have tangibly raised the profile of our Living Seas. It is difficult to overstate his contribution and impact”.

Nigel Phillips, Somerset Wildlife Trust volunteer and winner of the Marsh Award said : “It has been a great pleasure to work with Somerset Wildlife Trust championing marine conservation along our coast, and to work alongside Somerset Wildlife Trust staff. I feel very honoured to have my efforts recognised through the Marsh Award for Marine Conservation. It has also been enormous privilege getting to know the Somerset coast so intimately. We have come a long way in raising awareness of our brilliant coast, but we still have a considerable way to go with our survey and mapping work. In the future I hope to encourage many more volunteers to work with the Trust so that we can protect Somerset’s marine habitats and species for generations to come.”

Brian Marsh from the Marsh Christian Foundation, said: "We set up the Award in 2014 in partnership with The Wildlife Trusts because we are concerned about the conservation of marine wildlife, and wanted to highlight the important work marine volunteers are undertaking in the UK.  Hopefully this award will help recognise the outstanding efforts of the volunteers in their protection of Living Seas, and raise the profile of their essential work."