The “Hills to Levels” team is celebrating after winning the “Duncan Huggett Award for the Environment” at the Flood & Coast Project Excellence Awards. The Awards ceremony was hosted at the Environment Agency’s annual Flood & Coast Conference held in Telford on 2st March.
Set up in 2015 after the devastating floods of 2014, the People’s Postcode Lottery funded Hills to Levels project was a collaboration between the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group SW (FWAG), the Somerset Wildlife Trust (SWT), the RSPB and the Royal Bath & West Society to support farmers manage their land more effectively in times of heavy rain to help ‘slow the flow’ and control flooding across Somerset. In its first two years of operations the project provided advice & support to over 600 farmers and issued capital grants totalling £196,000 while also working with local communities to inspire them to manage the effects of flooding in their villages.
In their citation, the judges praised Hills to Levels for being “A unique partnership of farming and conservation charities working together to reduce flood risk whilst encouraging nature and growing high quality food.”
Rupert Cox, from the Royal Bath & West attended the Awards with Ben Thorne of FWAG and in a joint statement they said:-
“We are delighted that our collaborative approach has been recognised at the highest level of the Flood & Coast industry. With so many large innovative engineering works from across the UK being recognised throughout the evening, it was amazing that our land-based farmer-focussed initiative came to the top of the pile for environmental projects. A big thank you to the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery without whom we could not have made such an impact in the county.”