Lavant teen wins conservation award

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An award has been presented to a Lavant boy for his conservation work.

Matthew Totham, 18, was given the first Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group Eileen Savill Award for his work, as a volunteer for the Chichester Ship Canal Trust.

Joe Savill, trustee for the heritage group said the reason Matthew received the award was his commitment to conservation in the area.

The ceremony took place at the canal basin in Chichester with Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group members, Canal Trust members and Matthew’s family.

Leader of Chichester District Council, Heather Caird, presented Matthew with the award, which was a carved wooden water vole which Mr Savill said “was particularly appropriate as water voles are an endangered species but fortunately are benefitting from Matthew’s work”.

Being a keen canoeist, Matthew also received a personalised paddle bag as a prize.

After the ceremony participants were treated to a trip on a narrow boat to view some of the work Matthew has been involved with along the canal.

The award has been set up by the Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group, a registered charity which aims to protect wildlife in the area.

The award is in memory of Eileen Savill, a founder member of the group who devoted her life to encouraging young people whilst teaching for 23 years at what is now The Academy, Selsey.

The award aims to celebrate under 25’s who help to conserve, highlight or educate others about local wildlife.

The 2013 Award will open for nominations in the spring and for more information contact Joe Savill on 01243 60710.