The wildlife charity Buglife has won a top conservation aware for its fight to protect marshland in Essex.
The site in West Thurrock Marshes, home to 36 rare and endangered types of animal, had been originally destined to be a Royal Mail distribution centre.
Royal Mail later withdrew its interest in moving to the site.
Buglife, which organised a meeting with the prime minister and a set of mock stamps in its battle, won the Observer Ethical Awards’ conservation section.
Rare species living on the site include the brown-banded carder bee and the distinguished jumping spider which is found on just two sites in the UK.
Buglife – The Invertebrate Conservation Trust – said it was thrilled the campaign to save the marshes had been recognised.
Chief executive Matt Shardlow said: “A healthy environment depends on healthy ecosystems, which is about more than ensuring that elephants and orchids have places to live.
“This award is an indication of the increasing recognition that life on earth depends on pollinators, water cleaners, soil fertilizers and a myriad of other small animals.
“Many of these animals are struggling to cope in modern Britain and the battle of West Thurrock Marshes has highlighted that the system is failing to help them.”