County Durham’s green-minded residents and community groups have been celebrated at a virtual awards ceremony.
The annual County Durham Environment Awards, which are run by Durham County Council on behalf of the County Durham Environment and Climate Change Partnership, recognise the outstanding conservation and voluntary work that has taken place.
Now in its 32nd year, the event celebrates the county’s community groups, individuals, businesses and other organisations that go the extra mile to improve their local environment in a sustainable way.
Having been moved online due to social distancing guidelines and the coronavirus pandemic, it was decided the 2021 winners would also be announced virtually. The video is now live on the council’s YouTube channel.
Judges were particularly impressed with The Bishop Auckland People’s Museum, a volunteer run collection of town memories, and Lickety Split Creamery in Seaham, which is taking huge strides to reduce throw away plastic and packaging.
Other winning and highly commended entries for each category include:
Community partnership: Bishop Auckland People’s Museum
Greener Business: Greenkeepers Eco Home Store
Places and Spaces: Hunwick Community, Social and Environment Group; Book Stop, Witton Park (joint category winners)
Waste Management: Recyke y’Bike
Volunteer Group of the Year: Friends of Riverside Park, Chester-le-Street
Volunteer of the Year over 18: Claire Todd; Dave Woods (joint category winners)
Schools and Colleges: North Park Primary School, Spennymoor; Silver Tree Primary School, Ushaw Moor; West Rainton School Environmental Champions (all highly commended)
Cllr Mark Wilkes, Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and climate change, said: “Reducing emissions and tackling climate change remain two of our key priorities as a council. As we can only make strides in reducing emissions as a whole if everyone in the community is engaged and contributing to good environmental practices, we are delighted that these awards have taken place, recognising all those who do outstanding work for the environment.
“What is really apparent in this year’s entries is how many strong communities we have here in County Durham.
“From organisations doing their bit to tackle climate change to individuals working in their local area, it is great to see how much our residents and businesses value the environment.
“Planning is already underway for next year’s event and we look forward to seeing more entries from individuals, groups and businesses who are going above and beyond to help preserve and protect their local communities.”