203The winners of the 2015 County Durham Environment Awards have been revealed.

They include schools, community groups, businesses and individuals who have helped to make their local environment better.

The awards are organised every year by the County Durham Environment Partnership to recognise great design, environmental guardianship and community spirit.

Among the winners were two entries which the judges felt were outstanding in their field.

The Outstanding Awards are made at the judges’ discretion if they feel that an entry has far exceeded the awards category criteria.

Wear Referrals Veterinary Hospital, based in a brand new building at Bradbury, near Sedgefield, was judged to be outstanding due to its design, appearance and extensive use of energy efficiency measures.

And Dylan Etheridge, winner of the volunteer of the year under 18 category, was recognised for his outstanding contribution to the improvement in the quality and appearance of the local landscape through his involvement in the Haggrid Project – a youth development and citizenship programme run by Durham Agency Against Crime and Durham Constabulary.

Dylan got involved in the project in 2013 and has gone on to become an invaluable asset to the scheme, playing a major role with the development of other students and volunteering throughout all school holidays.

In total there were 66 entries from across County Durham, with a shortlist of 39 in 12 awards categories.

Entries included new buildings, restoration projects, neighbourhood planting displays, community, school and youth projects and environmental enhancement schemes.

Terry Collins, chair of the County Durham Environment Partnership, said: “The quality of the environmental projects taking place in County Durham and the commitment of the people who make these things happen never fails to impress.

“These awards provide a fitting recognition to the tremendous efforts of those individuals, groups and organisations that help to make our environment better.

“I congratulate all those who have received an award this year.”

The winners were announced at a ceremony on Tuesday 24 November.

For more information about the County Durham Environment Awards and to see a full list of winners go to www.countydurhampartnership.co.uk/envawards

People can also look out for #altogethergreener on Twitter.

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