Bird charity rises to the occasion with Phoenix

Celebrating the award are (l-r) North Lanarkshire Council's Gerry Lewis, Phoenix Futures' John Deeney and Karen Wedlock and RSPB Scotland's Pardeep Chand.
Celebrating the award are (l-r) North Lanarkshire Council's Gerry Lewis, Phoenix Futures' John Deeney and Karen Wedlock and RSPB Scotland's Pardeep Chand.

A MOTHERWELL nature reserve has been recognised with a national award for its contribution to a partnership project involving people affected by substance misuse.

RSPB Scotland and North Lanarkshire Council have been working with individuals from Phoenix Futures at Baron’s Haugh and Dalzell Estate since 2009.

The organisation offers services to people with drug and alcohol problems, including its Conservation Work Therapy programme, which provides therapeutic support through participation in conservation activities.

At Baron’s Haugh and Dalzell estate, individuals from Phoenix Futures have been carrying out tasks including the creation of a tree nursery and outdoor classroom, and removing invasive, non-native plants from the estate.

The project has proved such a success that it has now been presented with the Recovery in Partnership Award in the Phoenix Futures New Year Honours, 2012, held in London.

Pardeep Chand, RSPB Scotland warden at Baron’s Haugh, said: “Winning this award is such an honour, and is a true reflection of how much this partnership has meant to everyone.

“Phoenix Futures have made, and continue to make, a massive difference at Baron’s Haugh, with numerous projects including planting, painting, general repair work and lots of other tasks around the reserve.

“The individuals involved have really taken this place to heart, and it has been a pleasure working alongside them.”

Councillor Helen McKenna, North Lanarkshire Council’s convener of environmental services, said: “It’s great to see this extremely worthwhile project being recognised.”