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St Agnes seabird volunteers win RSPB Award


St Agnes volunteers for the Isles of Scilly Seabird Recovery Project have won a prestigious award from the RSPB.

The President's Award, handed out at the organisation's AGM, is given to their most valued volunteers in recognition of the time given and dedication to the work of the RSPB.

RSPB South West posted on social media: "Delighted to announce that the Isles of Scilly Seabird Heritage Volunteers were awarded the RSPB's President's Award on Saturday at our AGM in London... congratulations for all the hard work to ensure seabirds thrive in this very special place."

John Peacock from St Agnes, who attended the ceremony, said: “Trish and I were thrilled to receive the President's award at this years AGM on behalf of the seabird heritage volunteers of St Agnes. It was great to hear all about the other projects that the RSPB undertake and see the good work going on.”

The five-year Isles of Scilly Seabird Recovery Project, which finished at the end of 2017, aimed to protect the seabirds in Scilly by keeping St Agnes and Gugh and the uninhabited seabird islands 'rat-free'. St Agnes residents were subsequently registered as 'Seabird Heritage Volunteers', carrying out biosecurity checks to keep the islands rat-free in the wake of the Project.

The citation for the award reads: "There is no question that the Isles of Scilly Seabird Recovery Project has had an immense impact on the fortunes of seabirds, for which the UK holds globally significant populations. The technical endeavour to remove rats from the islands was groundbreaking in its own right.

"However, what is truly exceptional about this project is its roots in the community. The strength and depth of support and involvement of the Isles of Scilly Seabird Heritage Volunteers made the project such a success and community volunteer involvement has now been seen as a landmark in the world of island restoration.

"The community of volunteers pulled together their strengths, resources and energy to do everything needed for the success of the project, from monitoring to bio-security and eradication.

"The Seabird Heritage Volunteers continue to secure the projects legacy now and into the future and this award sends a clear message about the RSPB’s commitment to saving more nature through people and communities."

Project Manager Jaclyn Pearson wrote on Facebook: "Well done all, this is what communities can do for conservation. Simply inspirational!"

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