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The National Trust has begun a two month search for the unsung heroes of the environmental movement in the 2013 Octavia Hill Awards.

Organised by the National Trust and 'Countryfile' magazine the awards were set up in 2012 to celebrate the life and legacy of social reformer, environmental champion and one of the National Trust founders, Octavia Hill*.

Nominations for the four categories - natural hero, green space guardian, people's champion and Love Places** - will be judged by a panel of experts before being put to a public online poll.

Helen Timbrell, Volunteering and Community Involvement Director at the National Trust, said: "Most of the special places that we all love are dependent on the commitment, dedication and passion of volunteers.

"These awards are all about recognising that energy and showing that the legacy and spirit of Octavia Hill is alive and well in how we value our green places as a nation."

The panel of judges for this year's Awards include: Julia Bradbury, 'Countryfile' presenter and winner of a 2012 Octavia Hill Award, Fergus Collins, Editor of 'Countryfile Magazine', Grahame Hindes, Chief Executive of Octavia Housing, Matt Smith, winner of a 2012 Octavia Hill Award, and Helen Timbrell, Volunteering and Community Involvement Director at the National Trust.

In the 2012 Awards more than 170 individuals and organisations were nominated for the Octavia Hill Awards. The online poll to decide the winners attracted nearly 7,000 votes.

Fergus Collins, Editor of 'Countryfile Magazine', commented: "It's fantastic to be involved with these awards, which recognise the tremendous hard work that so many communities and individuals put in to protect the green spaces that are essential to our wellbeing."

The closing date for submitting nominations for the Awards is Thursday 28 February 2013. More information about how the public can nominate people or organisations can be found at and the hashtag #octaviahill will be used on twitter during the Awards.

There will then be an online poll in late March to decide the winners, which will be announced in the June issue of Countryfile Magazine and at a special Awards lunch in London.

- ENDS -

Notes to Editors:

* More information about the life and legacy of Octavia Hill can be found at:
** There are four categories in the 2013 Octavia Hill Awards:
- Natural Hero - for an exceptional individual who has devoted their energy and free time to protecting green spaces and inspiring the local community to do the same.
- Green Space Guardians - this award is for a group or organisation, big or small, that has created a lot of noise (locally or nationally) to champion and promote green spaces and places.
- The People's Champion - a person in the public eye who has worked to inspire people to enjoy and protect the outdoors.
- 'Love Places' award - specifically for National Trust volunteers, individuals or groups, who have enabled local communities to benefit from the open places that are important to them and gone beyond the call of duty.
The full terms and conditions about the Awards can be found at:

About the National Trust:

The National Trust looks after more than 250,000 hectares of countryside, 720 miles of coastline and hundreds of historic places across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. For more information and ideas for great value family days out, visit

About Countryfile Magazine:

Whether you live in the countryside or the middle of a city, 'Countryfile Magazine' aims to bring the reality of country living into your home. Each issue is a celebration of rural life, offering practical advice on how to enjoy the British countryside, highlighting areas to explore and discover, and displaying the countryside’s breadth and variety.

For further information, please contact:

Mike Collins
Senior Press Officer
The National Trust
Kemble Drive
01793 917708

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of pr-sending-enterprises in the following categories: Environment & Nature, for more information visit