2008 - Doddington Hall and Gardens

Doddington Hall and GardensDoddington Hall and Gardens

Overall Winner of the Lincolnshire Environmental Award 2008 and Best Farm/Rural Enterprise Award: Doddington Hall and Gardens

Since taking over the running of the family home and gardens of Doddington Hall in 2005, Claire and James Birch have been determined to be as environmentally friendly as they can be. They have resurrected the walled kitchen garden and brought it back into production, growing fruit and vegetables organically and using heritage varieties; as an outlet for the garden’s produce and a centre for other locally sourced produce, they have developed a farm shop and café, with a building that collects rainwater for use in the garden and toilets, and uses natural ventilation and low energy appliances as widely as possible; local schools are involved with their own plots in the garden and a variety of events are held.

The entire oil-fired heating and hot water system for the hall, farm shop & café, plus seven other buildings has also been converted to a carbon neutral wood-chip heating system which uses thinnings and dead wood from the estate. One of the most remarkable outcomes is that for the first time in a generation, there are a growing number of residents in the village who actually work in some capacity on the estate.

On winning the award, Claire Birch said: “We’re totally surprised and really proud of what we, and all the staff and volunteers, have worked so hard to achieve. One of our key elements is learning and spreading the word. We’re thrilled to have won as it will really help us do this.”

Business Winner: The EPIC Centre, Lincolnshire Agricultural Society

The EPIC Centre is the focal point of the Lincolnshire EPIC Project. Designed to be the most sustainable of buildings, the EPIC Centre showcases innovation, low carbon technologies and responses to global warming. Dr Nick Cheffins, Project Director, The Epic Project, said: “Winning this award is an absolutely brilliant recognition of the amazing team effort and a real addition to our credentials.”

Business Runner-up: Envirobarns, Fishtoft

Community and Group Winner: Grantham Angling Association

Over the last ten years or so habitat restoration projects by the Grantham Angling Association has returned the Upper River Witham near Grantham to the state it would have been in a hundred years ago benefiting the rare white clawed crayfish, water vole and native brown trout. Colin Hides said: “We sometimes feel like we are ploughing a lonely furrow and are very pleased that people feel we are doing a worthwhile job. It gives us encouragement for the future.”

Community and Group Runner-up: Lincoln Conservation Group

Individual Winner: Pat O’Carroll, Greenheart

For seven years Pat O’Carroll has been involved in green woodworking and traditional woodland crafts; teaching and demonstrating to community groups and schools. To enhance this, he has recently set up a social enterprise called Greenheart which works within schools and clubs to teach shelter building and wilderness skills and to increase awareness of ecological issues and sustainable development. Pat O’Carroll said: “We’re really chuffed to have won and been involved with such a high calibre of entrants. It will help us take Greenheart further.”

Individual Runner-up: Heather Proctor

Lincolnshire Young Environmentalist Award: North Kesteven School Eco Committee 

Awards judge, Julie Crowson, commented: “It’s extremely difficult to judge such diversity of entrants but the commitment and dedication of the children at North Kesteven School really shines through and the evidence of what they are doing is all over the school.”

The children were shocked to have won and hope that wining will encourage others at the school to get involved with their varied green projects which include an eco-garden, recycling, walk to school week, as well as monitoring their carbon footprints and setting targets for reduction. 

Runners up:
Gosberton House School
William Hildyard Church of England Primary School

Highly Commended:
Myle Cross Junior School
The Priory School
Melissa Holmes and Lydia Czabaniuk