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Goodie News for North East Nature Reserve

6th December 2012

Author, conservationist and member of the Goodies, Bill Oddie OBE, today surprised staff, volunteers and visitors at the RSPB nature reserve at Saltholme by presenting them with a National Lottery Awards trophy.

The National Lottery Awards are the annual search to find the UK’s favourite Lottery-funded projects.

£268,500 of Lottery funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has been used to run activities for people to enjoy and appreciate nature at the RSPB site. The project, Lifelong Learning at Saltholme, received almost 10,000 votes from the public to be crowned the nation’s Best Education project.

Bill Oddie OBE said: “Saltholme is an area of outstanding natural beauty, brimming with an abundance of wildlife. Its setting is even more dramatic because it is surrounded by heavy industry. National Lottery funding has meant that hundreds of school children have experienced wildlife for the first time at Saltholme. It is fantastic that its educational work has been recognised by the public.”

Staff, volunteers and visitors were completely unaware that they had won the National Lottery Award until Bill Oddie surprised them.

Caroline Found from the RSPB said:

“We were gobsmacked when Bill Oddie turned up with our trophy. We are incredibly proud of our success educating people of all ages about wildlife and nature. We are grateful to everyone who voted for us and National Lottery players for the funding to make our work possible.”

Ivor Crowther, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund North East, said:

“What a great result! RSPB Saltholme really deserves this award for getting Teesside locals – of all ages and walks of life - involved in the daily life of the reserve. We’re proud to have supported this project which has so effectively used its Heritage Lottery Fund grant to get people up close and personal with the natural wonders right on their doorstep.”

The public has been voting for their favourite projects in seven categories in The National Lottery Awards, reflecting the main areas of Lottery funding: arts, education, environment, health, heritage, sport, and voluntary/charity.

Lifelong Learning at Saltholme and the six other winners will be celebrated at a special star-studded BBC One Show at 8.40pm on Saturday 8 December 2012. Winners also receive a £2,000 cash prize to spend on their project.

Notes to editors

Photography and B-roll film is available.

For more information contact Michael Thompson on 020 7211 3894/07734 295745 or