NATURE RESERVE OF THE YEAR
RSPB HAM WALL SOMERSET
A popular wetland home to bitterns, water voles, kingfishers and, of course, the stunning starling murmurations.
Judge Fergus Collins says: “The old Avalon Marshes peatlands have become fantastic wildlife habitat. With new species arriving, Ham Wall has worked hard to make sure it is accessible to all the public.” rspb.org.uk/hamwall
Since 2000, this former water treatment works has been transformed by volunteers into a haven for wetland wildlife.
Judge Fergus Collins says: “Rodley is very engaged locally with the community, it has a wonderful range of species and lots of volunteers. A real hidden gem.” rodleynaturereserve.org
RSPB ARNE DORSET
With old oak woodland and wide open heath, Arne has a wide variety of wildlife: nightjars, Dartford warblers, ospreys and avocets.
Judge Fergus Collins says: “Arne became a household name in 2017, post Springwatch. It offers wide open heath, really interesting species and evocative landscapes.” ww2.rspb.org.uk/arne CLARA VALE TYNE AND WEAR A small reserve on the site of an old colliery with woodland, wetland and meadow.
Judge Phoebe Smith says: “This very small site was saved from development by the local community rallying together. It shows their dedication and how you can be small and still effective.” cvcg.org.uk
LOCH DRUIDIBEG SOUTH UIST
Find flowering machair, freshwater lochs, bogland and estuary, with shorelarks, corncrakes and golden eagle.
Judge Mark Rowe says: “A huge area of peat and loch, overlooked by mountains, with an austere beauty. Fantastic for wildlife watching, birds of prey and wildfowl.” bit.ly/2BwYwWh