Lisa Lane and Rachel Giles 2021
Marsh Award for Leadership and Innovation in Nature Restoration
- Lisa Lane – Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust
Lisa has been with the Trust for over 17 years and has been dedicated to the transformation of Chimney Meadows Nature Reserve from a barren wheat farm to an incredibly diverse, wildlife rich nature reserve. Lisa has brought in numerous funding projects with the help of the grants team, including constructing a new bird hide along the Thames path and improving species diversity, improving access and information on the ground to help the public understand the wildlife at Chimney Meadows. In 2017, Lisa and her team were presented with a unique opportunity to undertake a wetland restoration project of a size and scale that is rarely seen in the area. Once funding was secured, she was instrumental in transforming the waterway to allow the old River Thames to be connected back to the river and floodplain, whilst also creating a migration route for fish to move to new breeding habitats. Work on this project officially began in 2020, during the pandemic, and is progressing well. In late December 2020, Lisa was diagnosed with breast cancer, she has gone through surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, but her determination to see the work through, she has been able to still work, making sure that the project continues with the support of the Project team. Lisa also developed the Friends of Chimney Meadows volunteers, which now has 100 volunteer members, focussing on fencing works, habitat management and access works. Her legacy is remarkable and impactful, with the foundations she has laid allowing work to continue for many years to come.
Marsh Unsung Hero Leadership Award
- Rachel Giles – Cheshire Wildlife Trust
Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) is a private investment stream which is being explored by the Wildlife Trusts as a way of securing long term additional funding to help the organisation achieve its nature recovery objectives. Rachel has been an ambassador for BNG for the past 6 years, demonstrating commitment to securing the funding, courage to explore this new opportunity and consistent teamwork resulting in transformational change for not just her local Trust, but the organisation as a whole. Initially, her focus was on proofing the funding stream to ensure it would be suitable for the Wildlife Trusts to work with, but she has now expanded her reach to a national level of working across the organisation – helping to implement the systems and build a partnership with BNG that will ensure their funding is available to the Wildlife Trusts on a long-term basis. Rachel has been called upon to provide training courses to local Trusts on how best to utilise this funding and has been part of important discussions with national and government bodies on how this funding is being ised by the Wildlife Trusts. Thanks to Rachel’s dedication and commitment, more people across the Wildlife Trusts movement are ready to engage with this new stream of funding. She has initiated a cascade of shared knowledge which will flow out to better decisions for nature across the country. She has done this without seeking recognition, satisfied with the knowledge that she has contributed to making nature better.