The Duchess of Northumberland has helped to celebrate the very best in community and voluntary environmental work across the county at a special LOVE Northumberland awards event last night.
Nineteen groups, organisations, schools and individuals were honoured with winner, runner-up or highly commended awards across eight categories.
Representatives of all shortlisted entries attended the event at The Alnwick Garden, which was hosted by local historian and TV presenter John Grundy.
Best new project went to Prudhoe Local History Society for their work on ‘St Mary Magdalene Cemetery restoration’; best urban project to Transition Tynedale for ‘Edible Hexham’; and best coast or countryside project to Allenheads Trust Ltd for ‘Isaac’s Tea Trail’.
The best young people’s project category was won by Prudhoe Community High School for ‘re-populating bees in the North East’ and the best children’s project by Josephine Butler Primary Academy for ‘Let your light shine’.
The award for an individual whose efforts or commitment help to enrich the environment of Northumberland was presented to three winners this year: Derek Martin, a volunteer litter picker from Haltwhistle; Lindsay Thompson, a volunteer with Groundwork North East; and five year old Oliver Jackson, a young environmental champion from Blyth.
The Grace Darling Campus of the Northumberland Church of England Academy won the category for the Best School Recycling Project and the School Sustainable Travel Award went to Shanklea Primary School.
The annual awards were developed by Northumberland County Council through its LOVE Northumberland campaign, with the aim of promoting the work of the council and its many partner organisations, community groups and volunteers who all help to preserve and enhance the environment in the county.
Councillor Anthony Murray, civic head of Northumberland County Council, welcomed everyone to the awards evening, saying: “All of the shortlisted entries should be very proud of their work and I sincerely hope that they enjoyed this event, in the inspirational setting of The Alnwick Garden.
“The LOVE Northumberland awards are all about celebrating the work that individuals and groups do, largely in a voluntary capacity, to keep their local areas green and clean right across Northumberland day in and day out.
“Her Grace the Duchess of Northumberland has been very generous in giving up her time each year to present prizes to the winners, and we are very grateful to her for this support.”
Main sponsor of the awards again this year was The Banks Group and development relations co-ordinator Jeannie Kielty said: “Our company has had a long history with these awards – having been pleased to support them since 2012. All of the groups and individuals do an amazing job for their local communities and I have never failed to be impressed by the range and standard of new applications received each year.
“We want to make a positive difference in the communities we operate in Northumberland, and this sponsorship is just one of the ways that we feel we can do this – recognising the contributions made by local people in enhancing the county’s environment.”
Other sponsors and supporters of the awards this year have included Marmax Products for their colourful recycled benches and seats; local company Origin Designs who have provided wooden plaques for all of the winners; Jewsons for litter picking equipment: and the Go Smarter scheme for bikes and helmets.
Each winning entry received a £250 prize, each runner-up £100 and highly commended finalists £50, with the money to go towards their project or other work within the local community.
To find out more about LOVE Northumberland go to www.northumberland.gov.uk/love