The presentations by the nine finalists in the Lincolnshire Environmental Award 2012 took place throughout the afternoon. The diverse range and high quality of the finalists left the judging panel, led by renowned environmentalist David Bellamy, with tough decisions to make. At the evening Gala Dinner, the winning entries were announced.
The Gelder Group are committed to sustainability and aim to be carbon neutral. Their specialist GreenTech Management Services was set up to deal with waste created by the building trade and currently the group recycle 94% of their waste; well above the national average. Solar panels provide 88% of the hot water for the head office, and rainwater is harvested from the roofs and car park for flushing toilets and to clean fleet vehicles. In 2008, a 13 acre reserve was set up at the head office at Sturton-by-Stow. It includes a one-acre lake, 8 acres of woodland, nearly two miles of footpaths and a barn owl tower with nesting barn owls.
Adam Ellwood, Apprenticeship Development Manager for the Gelder Group, said that winning the award was a "marvellous achievement" and that they will "continue to invest and develop their environmental projects." He thanked all the contestants and judges in what had been a hotly contested competition.
Overall Winner of the Lincolnshire Environmental Award 2012: The Gelder Group
Best Business Award supported by Anglian Water: The Gelder Group
Walkers Snack Foods – focusing on sustainability at the Lincoln factory by using renewable electricity generated from waste vegetable oils, and reducing waste across all waste streams. For the past three years, nothing has been sent to landfill. The company involve all members of staff and work with local schools.
Renewable Energy section of the Lincolnshire Echo – launched in February this year, the weekly double page spread focuses on green energy projects; raising awareness and inspiring others.
Best Community Award supported by Centrica Energy: The Lincolnshire Firewood Fair
Set up five years ago and run entirely by volunteers the annual Lincolnshire Firewood Fair promotes the effective use of local firewood from sustainably managed woodland as an energy source. The Fair includes demonstrations, advice on burning wood and the importance of managing woodlands, and an auction of firewood from Lincolnshire woodlands. The success of the fair has inspired others to set up similar events elsewhere in the country.
Sustainable Caistor – The achievements of this village-based community group include a wildlife survey that has recorded over 850 species including a bug and fungi that are previously unrecorded in Lincolnshire, the management of a wildlife area, a community orchard and the development of four nature trails.
Real Nappy Champions – is a campaign to promote the use of modern reusable nappies and reduce the use of disposables. Volunteer champions offer their time and expertise by attending events, baby groups, and being on the end of the phone to give advice.
Best Farm / Rural Enterprise Award supported by Cemex: Dave Stanley, Holly Farm, Bourne
On his small holding, Dave Stanley aims to “practice what he preaches” on sustainability. The 30 acres of grassland demonstrates what can be achieved by implementing environmentally friendly practices. By monitoring the carbon levels in the soil he has demonstrated the role that mixed farming with cattle grazing can have in removing carbon from the atmosphere and locking it into the soil. It is a model that could be followed elsewhere. On receiving the award, Dave Stanley said: "I’ve thoroughly enjoyed participating in the awards today and seeing the enthusiasm of the other entrants. I would like to receive this on behalf of all farmers who are doing their bit to improve the environment."
Morris Brothers, Sand Hill Grange, Epworth - varied habitats for wildlife have been created while still running a profitable enterprise including planting of about 1,500 metres of mixed hedging, 16 acres of new native woodland and a 7 acre heathland.
J.L. Dodsworth & Co, Burgh le Marsh - 180 acres of wet grassland has been carefully designed to provide habitat for breeding waders and waterfowl, in addition to plots of wild bird mixes and plots of nectar and pollen mix.
A special individual award for environmental youth work was presented by the Waste Recycling Group to Clifford Jukes.
For the past 30 years, Clifford Jukes has inspired and encouraged an interest in wildlife and the environment in countless children. As the volunteer leader to the North-East Lincs Wildlife Watch Group, he has held meetings once a month for children aged 6 or 7 years upwards. Clifford Jukes paid thanks to the support of his late wife, the other volunteer Wildlife Watch leaders and the parents of all the children involved. He commented “what a pleasure it has been to work with the children. I have thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed it.”
The Lincolnshire Environmental Awards, the only dedicated environmental awards in the county, are organised by Lindum Rotary Club and the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust. www.lincsenvironmentalawards.org.uk