Twywell Hills and Dales named top nature space in national awards

The nature reserve is managed by Groundwork Northamptonshire

Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 5:16 am

A community green space in north Northamptonshire has been crowned ‘Nature Space of the Year’ at the national Land Trust Awards 2021.

Twywell Hills and Dales, a popular beauty spot between Kettering and Thrapston, is managed by Groundwork Northamptonshire on behalf of The Land Trust.

The designated Site of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI) for botany, attracts hundreds of visitors a day and is famed across the region for its butterflies.

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Back row (l-r) Phil Hodgkinson and Francine Rainbow - ranger. Front row (i-r) – Andy Wyldes, Kate Williams (Groundwork Northamptonshire CEO) and Michael Britton.

Kate Williams, chief executive of Groundwork Northamptonshire, said: “We’ve been working with The Land Trust for just under two years now and are proud of our hard work, which has really transformed Twywell Hills and Dales.

“We have a park ranger, masses of volunteers, the cattle are now grazing, and our mix of open fields and hilly landscape make this site hugely popular for dog walkers, ramblers and people simply wanting some respite from the surrounding towns.”

At The Land Trust Awards 2021 Groundwork Northamptonshire were also commended for their hard work in the category ‘Community Space of the Year’.

Alan Carter, director of operations at The Land Trust, said the award was well-deserved.

He said: "These awards were all about getting our partners and colleagues together to celebrate all the great achievements and it has been wonderful to see what a difference our projects make to the lives of so many people.”

Following the awards, staff from The Land Trust visited the award-winning Twywell Hills and Dales.

Francine Rainbow, park ranger at Twywell Hills and Dales, said: “It was great to welcome everyone to our incredible site, which makes a difference to the lives of so many people. We work hard to create and protect a sustainable space for both nature and the community.

"We have a programme of continuous scrub clearance which means we have been able to increase our grassland and the wildflowers and we recently altered the fencing to create a safe space for both the cattle and our visitors.”

Twywell Hills and Dales is just one of Groundwork Northamptonshire’s projects – now with the highest count of butterflies at any site throughout Northamptonshire. The charity also runs a youthwork programme, community allotments and a host of cultural and creative programmes.