A County Durham primary school and a festival focusing on the planet are among the winners of this year’s County Durham Environment Awards.
The awards, which are run by Durham County Council each year on behalf of the County Durham Environment and Climate Change Partnership, recognise the outstanding work that has taken place to improve the local environment.
Now in its 33rd year, the event celebrates schools, businesses, community groups and individuals that go the extra mile to look after their communities and promote sustainability.
Cllr Mark Wilkes, Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and climate change, said: “We are delighted to celebrate all those green-minded groups and individuals who are doing a fantastic job of looking after their local environment. It is clear from the entries that we have so many strong communities across County Durham going above and beyond for the benefit of their neighbourhoods.
“As a council we are committed to improving our environment and tackling climate change, but we can only make a significant difference if everyone is engaged and contributing to good environmental practices. This event highlights the outstanding work that is taking place every day and we look forward to celebrating even more environmental champions in future years.”
Winning the Schools and Colleges category at the event was Woodland Primary School in Teesdale, for its carbon reduction project. A grant of more than £100,000 has been used for a green retrofit at the school, which had traditionally relied on an oil-filled boiler for both heating and water.
Under the Public Sector Decarbonization Scheme, an air source heat pump, ground level solar panels and LED lighting have all helped to reduce the school’s energy consumption, making it more sustainable.
Meanwhile, the Building our Planet (BOP) Festival, which was held at Glenholme Park, Crook, in the summer by Jack Drum Arts was named the winner in the Volunteer Group of the Year category.
The free, family-friendly festival of live music, art and street theatre was set around the theme of going green.
Other winning entries for each category include:
Climate Change: North Pennines AONB Partnership Peatland programme
Community Partnership: Peterlee Community Garden Group at Woodhouse
Greener Business: Dalton Park Outlet Shopping Destination;
The Little Retail Shop (joint category winners)
Places and Spaces: St John’s Hall, Meadowfield
Schools and Colleges: Woodland Primary School – carbon reduction project
Volunteer Group of the Year: BOP Festival
Volunteer of the Year over 18: Carole Lattin
Volunteer of the Year under 18: Charlie Dyce; Jack Hopper (joint category winners).
Friends of Belmont Scrambles and Friends of Kepier Woods were also both highly commended in the Natural Environment category.
More information on the awards can be found at www.countydurhampartnership.co.uk.