Environmental champions in County Durham are once again to be celebrated through the return of an annual awards scheme.
The County Durham Environment Awards have been running since 1989 and recognise the green achievements of individuals, businesses, community organisations and schools. They reward work to improve, enhance and protect the local and wider environment, as well as recognising the community spirit often involved in the projects.
The awards are organised by Durham County Council on behalf of the County Durham Environment Partnership, which brings together public, private and voluntary organisations with the aim of making the county ‘altogether greener.’
The awards are sponsored by the council, The Northern Echo, Banks Group, Durham Wildlife Trust and national environment charity Groundwork.
They are open for entries from Monday 5 June, to coincide with World Environment Day. There are 12 categories:
- Built environment
- Climate change
- Community partnership
- Greener business
- Natural environment
- Places and spaces
- Schools and colleges
- Volunteer group of the year
- Volunteer of the year – under 18
- Volunteer of the year – over 18
- Waste management
The deadline for entries is 28 July with shortlisting and judging taking place over the summer. Winners will be announced at a ceremony in Durham in November.
To apply or find out more, go to: www.countydurhampartnership.co.uk/envawards or call 03000 267133.
Interim chair of the partnership Oliver Sherratt said: “The awards are a real opportunity to highlight the excellent environmental work that goes on in our county every year.
“I never fail to be impressed by the efforts of County Durham’s volunteers, schools, businesses and community organisations.
“We want people, businesses and organisations to tell us about their environmental work so we can give them the recognition they deserve and, in doing so, inspire others to do their bit.”
The council’s £3m restoration of Durham’s Wharton Park, which received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) through its Parks for People programme, scooped a hat-trick of awards in 2016.
As well as winning the ‘built environment’ and ‘places and spaces’ categories, the scheme was also given the ‘outstanding’ award which judges can give to an entry which exceeds the category criteria.
The 2016 awards saw an impressive 57 entries from across County Durham, 17 of which were category winners and 18 ‘highly commended.’