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Sustainability, awards and a coveted silver otter

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Archaeology, Environment and Ecology, Falkland Islands

Representatives of Exercise MAGWITCH pose with their Silver Otter award and Minister of Defence Personnel and Veterans, Tobias Ellwood MP.
Participants in Exercise MAGWITCH collecting their Silver Otter award. [Crown Copyright/MOD2018]
Last week, I attended the annual Sanctuary Awards alongside a range of talented individuals and groups who have helped to make a huge difference to sustainability in the MOD.

For those of you who don’t know, the Sanctuary Awards showcases MOD’s commitment to a sustainable estate and celebrates the achievements of teams and individuals who have worked so hard to preserve and protect the Defence estate, both in the UK and overseas. The awards are delivered by DIO, on behalf of the MOD.

This year's event was hosted by DIO's Chief Executive Graham Dalton and Minister for Defence People and Veterans Tobias Ellwood. There are five award categories: Individual Achievement, Utilities and Heritage Award and the Environmental Project and Sustainability Project Award. The winners of each category are also considered for the Silver Otter and Sustainable Business Award. Here’s a brief overview of our worthy winners and runners up.

Heritage Award and Silver Otter Award

The coveted Silver Otter Award and Heritage Award was won by Exercise MAGWITCH, an Operation Nightingale programme, for its work in recovering the skeletons of those who died on 18th and 19th century prison ships on Rat (Burrow) Island, Portsmouth. It’s an excellent example of collaborative work between Breaking Ground Heritage, Combat Stress, the Royal Military Police and 17 Port and Maritime Regiment.

Runner up was Exercise Artemis 17 for their effort in excavating seventh century Byzantine structures and mosaics found on the east of RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus. The project supports Operation Nightingale, a joint DIO programme that uses archaeology to aid in the recovery of soldiers who are sick, wounded or were injured in operations in Afghanistan.

Sustainable Business Award and Utilities Project Award

Congratulations to 29 Regiment, The Royal Logistic Corps Energy Management Team who won both awards for developing innovative ways to mitigate the impact of rising utility costs. The team identified areas where savings could be made and engaged with communities to initiate behavioural change which led to considerable savings during peak times of energy use when the National Grid is under pressure.

Members of the Energy Management Team of 29 Regiment, The Royal Logistic Corps, pose with their awards and Minster of Defence Personnel and Veterans, Tobias Ellwood MP.
29 Regiment, The Royal Logistic Corps Energy Management Team [MOD Crown Copyright/2018]
Runners up were Landmarc’s Sustainability and Waste Management Teams who have helped MOD achieve its Greening Government Commitments by diverting 95% of waste from landfill across the Defence training estate.

Representatives of Landmarc's Sustainability and Waste Management Team pose with their award and Minister of Defence Personnel and Veterans, Tobias Ellwood MP.
Landmarc’s Sustainability and Waste Management Team [Crown Copyright/MOD2018]

Sustainability Project Award

Our Armed Forces play a crucial role in providing humanitarian and disaster relief in times of crisis. Operation MARMAT won the award for reinforcing water supplies, repairing transport roads and rebuilding several villages and schools after Nepal was hit by devastating earthquakes.

Soldiers from Operation MARMAT pose with their award and Minister of Defence Personnel and Veterans, Tobias Ellwood MP.
Operation MARMAT [Crown Copyright/MOD 2018]
Our runner up was Warrant Officer Class Two Richards from 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, Albemarle Barracks in Northumberland for helping to improve the quality of life for soldiers and families by transforming waste management on the site.

Soldiers from the Albermarle Barracks War on Waste team pose with their award and Minister of Defence Personnel and Veterans, Tobias Ellwood MP
Albemarle Barracks War on Waste Team [Crown Copyright/MOD2018]

Environmental Project Award

Winners of the award were Rame Peninsula Beach Care who removed nine million pellets of micro plastics from a 100 mile stretch of beach in Cornwall owned by the Defence training estate in Cornwall in just seven sessions. They have made a significant contribution to helping the MOD meet the Government’s commitment to reduce plastic waste and helped to reduce environmental pollution on the Defence training estate.

Representatives of the Rame Peninsula Beach Group pose with their award and Minister of Defence Personnel and Veterans, Tobias Ellwood MP.
Rame Peninsula Beach Group [Crown Copyright/MOD2018]
Runners up were the Army Ornithological Society Ascension Seabird Conservation Project for their work in safeguarding the local seabird population in the Falkland Islands. The team spent hundreds of hours training to handle seabirds and provided lectures to the public, conservation bodies and schools to raise awareness of the declining seabird population.

Members of the Army Ornithological Society who worked on the Ascension Seabird Conservation Project pose with their runners up award and Minister of Defence Personnel and Veterans, Tobias Ellwood MP.
Army Ornithological Society Ascension Seabird Conservation Project [Crown Copyright/MOD2018]

Individual Achievement Award

Major Tony Canniford, DIO’s Head of Establishment for Ballykinler and Magilligan Training Centre won the award for implementing wildlife protection initiatives including the re-introduction of red squirrels where he worked alongside Belfast Zoo, Northern Ireland and the MOD. He is a champion of biodiversity and a role model for environmental management on the training estate.

Major Tony Canniford with his award and Minister of Defence Personnel and Veterans, Tobias Ellwood MP.
Major Tony Canniford, who won the Individual Achievement Award. [Crown Copyright/MOD2018]
Lastly, Richard Hull was runner up for his passion in protecting birds at Fingringhoe Ranges. Since 1970, he has carried out bird surveys and the data he has collected has led to the development of two new ranges, which was crucial as the site is an International European and UK Protected Area.

Find out more about the amazing projects happening across the Defence Estate in our latest magazine. It’s produced by DIO who provide good stewardship of the Defence estate, balancing military needs with sustainable management and conservation.

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  1. Comment by Oscar posted on

    I'm very interested in the kind of conservation work that takes place on UK military lands and training areas. How does a person end up working in these kind of roles in the DIO?

  2. Comment by Ian Lambkin posted on

    Does sustainable management and conservation have to include offering licences to fox hunters under the guise of 'trail hunting' at a time when any responsible organisation is stopping them.
    The National Trust have recently stopped this barbaric antiquated madness; why are you as part of the MOD so insensitive and unaware of public opinion that you believe it acceptable to offer such licences?

    • Replies to Ian Lambkin>

      Comment by DIO Communications Team posted on

      We are study the full verdict to see whether it has any impact on individual hunts and their activity on MOD land.

      Any organisation that wishes to hunt on MOD land must have a licence and we regularly monitor their activity.

  3. Comment by Ian Lambkin posted on

    So you are willing to support hunting despite it being banned! If you think this mindset represents the vast majority of UK tax payers that ultimately the MOD you are sorely mistaken.
    The National Trust have stopped hunting on all its sites why are you not able to do likewise?
    Take some responsible direct action and do the right thing!


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