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The Margaret River Region’s peak environment group has won a prestigious conservation award against a field from across Western Australia.

Nature Conservation Margaret River Region was awarded the Len Howard Community Group Award for 2023 at the annual Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) Community Conservation Awards.

The CCWA said Nature Conservation was given the top honour for a community group which has “demonstrated an outstanding commitment and success in the conservation of the Western Australian environment”.

Other high-level groups who have previously won the award, including the Wildflower Society of WA, Denmark Environment Centre, Environs Kimberley, Wilderness Society of WA, and Save Beeliar Wetlands. It was established in honour of Len Howard, who founded and for two decades led one of WA’s most successful conservation groups, the Peel Preservation Group.

Marine debris foundation Tangaroa Blue was also recognized on the night, taking out three awards.

Nature Conservation chair Dr Ann Ward was delighted to accept the award on behalf of the whole team at a gala night in Perth, and said the accolade was a testament to the dedicated and passionate work of the conservation group’s board, staff, advisors, ambassadors and volunteers, as well as strong support of the local community and sponsors.

“We live in such a special place and with that comes the responsibility to protect it and care for it,” she said. “People in our community understand that the environment needs care, advocacy and protection, and this year it’s been so heartwarming to see hundreds of people coming to support our volunteer conservation days, workshops, and events. We can donate our time, passion, intelligence and energy to care for this very special place.”

Nature Conservation facilitates and drives conservation action, runs a huge of educational events and workshops for the community, organises regular volunteer bush care programs, and has an on-ground team to carry out conservation work, revegetation and weed control. Its staff run a range of local programs including the Arum Lily Blitz, Woody Weeds campaign, Caring for Coast, the For Nature landholder stewardship program, a new Margaret River waterway custodians’ program, as well as primary school education programs Our Patch, Adopt a Spot and Waatu Kaatijin (Ocean Learning).

“We’ve got some really exciting new initiatives in 2024 to continue the fight for nature and conservation in our region, and we hope you’ll join us,” said Dr Ward.