The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales’ Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre (CBMWC) has received a special recognition award for its community-focused marine conservation work.

The centre received the High Sheriff of Dyfed award last week for its dedication towards conserving the region's marine wildlife.

The award comes less than a month after CBMWC received national recognition for it’s Living Seas Volunteer Programme, and achieved the Investing in Volunteers (liV) award.

The CBMWC is dedicated to conserving Cardigan Bay’s marine life through research, education and awareness raising; in 2016 celebrated its 20 year anniversary with a special event celebrating 20 years of marine conservation and to highlight the hard work, support and dedication received from supporters and volunteers over the years.

CBMWC founder Steve Hartley said: “We are honoured that the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre was selected by Her Majesty’s High Sheriff of Dyfed as a worthy organisation for the High Sheriff’s award.

"It is a long-standing custom that the Shrievalty bestows an honorary distinction upon individuals and organisations who have made a significant contribution to work within the community; the High Sheriff’s award is seen as a formal recognition of the significant contribution made.”

Staff and volunteers from the centre attended an awards ceremony to accept the special recognition award from High Sheriff, Professor Medwin Hughes.

Sarah Perry, The Wildlife Trust’s Living Seas Science officer, said: “Volunteers have been integral to local marine conservation initiatives at CBMWC over the past 20 years.

"Over 580 dedicated individuals have kindly donated over 114,000 hours of their time.

"Their help has been invaluable in conducting marine megafauna research and raising awareness of the local marine wildlife and habitats through the CBMWC visitor centre and public engagement events.

“As a former volunteer myself I know how difficult it can be to gain valuable experience in the environment sector in order to gain employment, not only does CBMWC provide this opportunity, but our aim is also to collect valuable data and information and to inspire the local community as well as future generations to help look after the marine environment.”