Eco-friendly businesses, volunteers and great green projects are being urged to put themselves forward for awards recognising those who look after their local environment.
To coincide with World Environment Day nominations opened for the County Durham Environment Awards 2018.
Chair of the County Durham Environment 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 volunteers, schools, businesses and community organisations, but we need more people 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.”
Now in their 29th year the awards – which are sponsored by Durham County Council, Durham University, Banks Group, Citrus Group, Lichfields and Durham Wildlife Trust – will see prizes rewarding top design, environmental guardianship and community spirited work.
The award’s 12 categories include: Built environment; Climate change; Community partnership; Craftsmanship; Greener business; Natural environment; Places and spaces; Schools and colleges; and Waste management.
There are also awards for Volunteer group of the year, Volunteer of the year and Under 18 volunteer of the year.
Victoria Brown, deputy principal of last year’s Volunteer group of the year winner Van Mildert College, said: ““For the work of Mildertians past and present to be recognised by the county in this way was wonderful – And the opportunity to meet other like-minded volunteers at the awards was invaluable for our students and staff as they established both new links to a diverse range of community groups and gained an understanding of the true impact that their work was having.
“The award has boosted the confidence and motivation of our volunteers and also enabled us to build new community partnerships which we hope will ensure that Mildert Outreach continues to go from strength to strength.
“If you are a member of a local group, I would strongly recommend making an application.”
Other previous winners have included everything from Durham County Council’s £3m restoration of Durham’s Wharton Park, to Crook Hall Visitor Centre, Durham Heritage Coast Partnership’s Reach for the Beach festival, scouts and young firefighters, and Witton Park’s Brothers at War project.
Oliver said: “We have had winners including conservation projects, environmental work at the coast, building restorations, environmental tourism, community gardens, school and community allotments, environmental education programmes, sustainable engineering projects and gardening clubs so we’d encourage anyone who feels they deserve to be celebrated to put themselves forward.
“If what you have been doing in the last year has been positive for the environment of County Durham, we want to hear about it.”
The deadline for 2018 entries is Friday, July 7 with shortlisting and judging taking place over the summer. Winners will be announced at a ceremony in November.
To submit an entry or nominate go to www.countydurhampartnership.co.uk/envawards or call 03000 267 133.