Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT) took top prize in the Environment and Conservation category.The winner's trophy was presented to YDMT chairman Steve Macaré at the awards ceremony by conservationist and wildlife broadcaster Bill Oddie.

The Charity Awards, organised by Civil Society Media, recognised YDMT for its ground-breaking Hay Time project. This nationally important initiative aimed to restore at least 200 hectares of degraded meadows, conserve species-rich hay and enable people to learn about the natural and cultural heritage of meadows.

Running from May 2006 to December 2011, the project exceeded its original goal. It successfully added locally-harvested seed to 279 hectares of meadow. It also restored the floral diversity of the land and created a richer environment for a plethora of wildlife.

Don Gamble, Hay Time Project Manager at YDMT commented, “Everyone involved in the Hay Time project is extremely proud of what we've achieved. It's a hugely exciting time for our meadow restoration work, as we begin work to extend the scheme in the Yorkshire Dales and to expand into the Forest of Bowland this summer.

Winning such a prestigious award is testament to the hard work and dedication of all those involved.It's a real thrill and it's wonderful to know that the work we are doing with farmers across the region is being appreciated. It's also good news for YDMT, as the Awards are only given to the best managed charities in the UK.”

The Charity Awards is the highest profile event in the charity calendar.Awards are presented in 10 categories with each of the winning charities having been judged by an independent panel of sector leaders. Each winner must have demonstrated outstanding best practice from which other organisations can learn.

Daniel Phelan, organiser of The Charity Awards said, “The Charity Awards programme recognises the exceptional work that takes place within the voluntary sector and the dramatic effects that charities have on a wide spectrum of social needs.

What the winning charities all have in common is their ability to turn innovation, passion and vision into an effective project or organisation demonstrating considerable impact.It's vital that we acknowledge these achievements, which is why I'm delighted Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust has won the Environment and conservation award.It is thoroughly deserved and I congratulate everyone involved.

Players of People's Postcode Lottery have raised over £225,000 to date for the Yorkshire based charity.

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