£500 cheque helps wildlife sites thrive

  A RETIREMENT village has donated its finalist winnings from a prestigious awards ceremony to help community groups look after wildlife sites in the North East.

Middleton Hall Retirement Village, at Middleton St George, near Darlington, has donated the £500 cheque to Durham Wildlife Trust after being commended in the Pinders Healthcare Design Awards 2013 for its Middleton Woods apartments.

The Middleton Hall management team received the cheque after reaching the top three in the Independent Living category during a ceremony at Lords Cricket Ground in London.

The event was compered by television and musical theatre star Russell Grant, an active campaigner for more research into Alzheimer’s disease.

Jeremy Walford, managing director of Middleton Hall Retirement Village, said:

“The Pinders awards are one of the biggest events of the year for the care industry so we were delighted to make it to the final.

“We have so much wildlife at Middleton Hall, which both staff and the residents encourage and look after, so it seems fitting to put the money towards fostering more wildlife in County Durham.”

Middleton Hall Retirement Village is surrounding by 100 acres of woodland which is teeming with wildlife. It is a corporate member of Durham Wildlife Trust and runs many wildlife projects in its grounds, such as providing nesting boxes for owls, wetland areas for breeds such as moorhens and a woodland Wildlife Walk trail which residents and their relatives can enjoy.

Durham Wildlife Trust said the money would be used to help community groups around Darlington cultivate their own Wildlife sites.

Jim Cokill, of Durham Wildlife Trust, said: “The £500 will be used to support work on wildlife sites across the Darlington area. Hopefully we can use the example set by Middleton Hall to inspire other communities to do their bit for nature.”

The Pinders Healthcare Design Awards have been running for 14 years and aim to promote and recognise the best developments in all types of care-related property.

Middleton Hall Retirement Village was one of three finalists in the ‘Regeneration – Independent Living’ category and received praise for the ‘conversion and extension of a care home to create a village community offering apartments, family-living and nursing care, plus a spa, cafe, shop, bar and bowling green.”

The winner of the category was Bircheley Court in Hertford.

Pic cap: Pictured left to right are: George Bailey, chairman of Durham Wildlife Trust, Jeremy Walford, managing director of Middleton Hall Retirement Village, and Steve Marriot, director of Pinders, Healthcare and Education.

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