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The Elms wins eco-award

The Elms wins eco-awardThe Elms Park, at Torksey in Lincolnshire has been named as a winner of the prestigious David Bellamy Conservation Award. This is given to parks where the business owners and residents have made outstanding efforts to protect and enhance the natural environment.

According to world-famous botanist Professor Bellamy, The Elms is creating a ‘green blueprint’ of how to run a park that is as welcoming to flora and fauna as it is to home owners.

The Elms was established just over 50 years ago by former farmer John Kinch, now aged 83, who still plays an active part in its day-to-day management. John’s enthusiasm for the natural environment has also been taken up by his children - Stuart, Tracey, Ann and Johnny - who now help to run the business.

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Recent wildlife initiatives have included the planting of high nectar producing shrubs which attract a wide range of butterfly species, and which are irrigated by harvested rainwater. The park also carefully maintains its three lakes which act as a magnet for many different types of birds and aquatic life, from ducks to dragonflies. Owls and other bird species are additionally encouraged by the siting of nesting boxes in the grounds, and The Elms has also created wildflower areas where many different varieties flourish.

Many park residents have helped to make The Elms a natural paradise by sustaining wildlife areas in their gardens to provide shelter, habitats and feeding resources for birds and animals.

Recently, the park created its own woodland walk which takes residents on a fully interpreted nature tour and is designed for easy accessibility.

In making his award, David Bellamy also commended the park’s strong links with local wildlife groups, and the way in which the business acts as a good neighbour to the nearby community. It supports local charities, sports teams and the church, and has gifted seven acres of parkland for recreational use by local residents, as well as building a medical centre in the village.

Ann Kinch commented that the park has been a haven for wildlife for over 50 years and it’s the sense of being surrounded by nature which gives The Elms its very special character. ‘Everybody plays a part in our conservation work’, she added, ‘and it’s wonderful to be able to help preserve its very special character with the support and inspiration of David Bellamy.’