A THRIVING nature reserve near Yate has won a prestigious award. 

Wapley Bushes Local Nature Reserve has been awarded a Green Flag Community Award - one of 2208 UK winners of the honour, an international quality mark for parks and green spaces.

The site - which won in the category for green spaces managed by voluntary and community groups - is maintained by Wapley Bushes Conservation Group. 

Just 14 community awards were given out in the whole of the south west and Wapley Bushes won the only community award in South Gloucestershire.

Wapley Bushes is an area of meadows and woodlands which is very popular with walkers of all ages. 

It is managed by volunteers at the Wapley Bushes Conservation Group on behalf of site owners Dodington Parish Council.

Gazette Series: Volunteers at one of the tree planting work mornings - photo by Rosemary WicksVolunteers at one of the tree planting work mornings - photo by Rosemary Wicks (Image: Rosemary Wicks)

Committee member Paul Hulbert said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive a Green Flag Community Award for the twelfth time.

“Our local green spaces really matter to residents and visitors. They make a major contribution to health and wellbeing.

“This award celebrates the dedication that goes into maintaining Wapley Bushes to such a high standard - the real credit goes to our hard-working volunteers, and to Dodingto Parish Council for their unfailing practical and financial help.

"Our reserve is a mixture of flower-rich meadows, ancient woodland and younger plantations including a community orchard. 

"We work closely with South Gloucestershire Council and the Southwold Group of the Wildlife Trust, who provide us with very valuable advice.

“As well as our regular work mornings, we have walks and talks planned for the next few months – please check out our website wapleybushes.info for details."

Keep Britain Tidy’s Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd MBE said: “I would like to congratulate everyone involved at Wapley Bushes in achieving a Green Flag Award.

“The Local Nature Reserve is a vital green space for the community in South Gloucestershire, bringing people together and providing opportunities to lead healthy lifestyles.

"The staff and volunteers do so much to ensure that it maintains the high standards of the Green Flag Award and everyone involved should feel extremely proud of their achievement.”