UK Urban Ecology Forum

Partner Member UN Habitat Assembly Global Stakeholders Forum (GSF)

Criteria for making the Award

Candidates should be able to demonstrate:

  • innovation in the practice, and/or policy development, of expanding urban nature conservation activities;
  • documentation of the rationale of the above;
  • that safeguarding, enhancing, or enabling others to act for the benefit of nature in towns and cities; is a principal objective;
  • aspects that can be replicated by others in the urban nature conservation sector;
  • that site-based projects are, within their constraints, physically accessible to visitors ;
  • that they have key individuals willing to tell; their story to others e.g. through meeting visitors, contributing to articles or papers etc.; and
  • that they could inspire others to act.

Further guidance for applicants


Sites can be considered for an Award if they meet the above criteria, and should ideally:

  • have nature conservation (wildlife and/or biological sciences) and access to good quality green spaces in urban areas as a principal objective. Statutory Local Nature Reserves and other designated sites fit the bill excellently but other sites will qualify.  The key factor is  that  practice or intervention on the site is truly innovative;
  • have reasonable access for visitors appropriate to the nature of the site. If for example it is inappropriate for free access at all times, the rationale for restricted access should be made clear;
  • have an appropriate site management plan, history of the project and other details of the site and project available and accessible to anyone wanting more detailed information.

Site Managers should be able to demonstrate:

  • that appropriate management is secured for the foreseeable future within the context of the practice or intervention being made (for example, if the site is of a temporary nature);
  • that environmental education, site interpretation, accessibility for and engagement of people, and site based activities included within the Award application demonstrates innovation and clear links to the nature of the site, practice or intervention (i.e. high quality activities in themselves may not be sufficient);
  • the involvement of a range of partners in the project;
  • that project organisers/managers; are open to enquirers about any problems encountered or mistakes made.

Publications can be considered for an award if they meet the above criteria.; Examples of publications could include:

  • best practice manuals;
  • promoting new ideas and challenges to orthodoxy.
Activities and projects

Activities and projects can be considered for an award if they meet the above criteria and could include:

  • innovative environmental education projects;
  • environmental art projects;
  • working with new audiences;

A new or particularly innovative product which helps to further or improve practice and safeguarding urban nature could be considered for an award, e.g.:

  • a new software package or application;
  • a new environmentally friendly product which can be used in urban nature conservation for, for example, education or promoting and facilitating access;
  • a building feature that helps secure wildlife gain in a development/construction project .

A person or group of people who have been particularly influential or innovative in the field of urban nature conservation could be considered for an award, e.g.:

  • an active proponent of aspects of urban nature conservation who has demonstrably ‘raised the game’ through their work;
  • a group of people that worked together in an innovative way to achieve gain for urban biodiversity;
  • a campaigner whose activities have led to innovative step changes in policy.

The above list is not exhaustive, other innovations in the field of urban nature conservation outside these categories could be considered if they meet the above criteria, they could include:

  • research;
  • legal challenge.
Duration of the Award

The Award is specific to the time, places and activities for which it is made.

Assessment process

There is an annual process:

  • nominations and or applications for the Award should be made between January and March to the UKUEF;
  • two assessors from UKUEF will be identified for each application who will; visit and/or meet to assess a project, between January and September;
  • a panel of three UKUEF members will meet in October to determine applications and assessors’ recommendations;
  • The panel will produce a paper for presentation at the UKUEF November meeting;
  • UKUEF will decide on the Panel’s recommendations and notify the applicants;
  • an Award ceremony will take place early in the following year, or as circumstances dictate.

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