The RSPB has posthumously awarded its medal to eminent scientist Dick Potts, who died at the end of March. He made a huge contribution to conservation science from the 1970s onwards, particularly through ground-breaking studies into the effects of chemicals on farmland birds, especially Grey Partridges.
His farmland bird research and conservation work was done at the Game Conservancy Trust (now the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust), where he was director general until 2002. The RSPB medal is the most prestigious award the wildlife charity gives out, and recognises outstanding contribution to nature conservation.
The RSPB is aiming to return Hesketh Out Marsh East to the wild. The work will create a 154-hectare saltmarsh area, perfect for breeding waders. The marsh, situated in Lancashire’s Ribble Valley, is already home to some of the most spectacular wildlife in the North West, and the new wetland will hopefully boost those numbers further.
As well as this, the project will benefit those living in the area by breaching the sea wall around the marsh to allow the area to flood naturally and act as a buffer zone or soakaway for incoming tides. Meanwhile, inner flood defences will be strengthened. The RSPB began their purchase of the marsh thanks to a large grant from the Landfill Communities Fund.