Conservation and sustainability wins in the heart of the community

Paul Hobson

Mercer Wood Community Group has been named overall winner and best community in the Lincolnshire Environmental Awards in recognition for their work in Gainsborough.

Mercer Wood Community Group won the Orsted Community Award and the Overall Award at the Lincolnshire Environment Awards event which was held at Lincoln’s Bentley Hotel on Thursday 6 June. The inspiring and uplifting evening demonstrated how important our natural heritage is and how we can all play a part in its protection and recovery.

Overall and Orsted Community Award 2019
Mercer Wood Community Group

Mercer Wood, measuring 3.34 Hectares, located between the River Trent and Ropery Road in Gainsborough had sadly become overgrown and uncared for. Decades of fly-tipping made the wood unattractive and unsafe for local families. In 2010, local residents formed the Mercer Wood Community Group with the vision to manage the area for all to enjoy. Alongside volunteers from the Adult Learning Group and The Conservation Volunteers, they spent several years removing tons of domestic rubbish, old furniture, car parts, tyres and a burnt-out caravan. The community group have now planted over 1000 new saplings, constructed all-weather, wheelchair-friendly footpaths, with adjacent seating areas; and planted a community orchard and wildflower meadow.

“We were just overwhelmed at winning both awards, it is a wonderful boost for us. It was so reassuring to realise that there is already a wider understanding of the need to nurture urban green space and its wildlife, both for biodiversity and the climate emergency, as well as human health and wellbeing.”
Gill Bardsley
Mercer Wood Community Group

Orsted Community Award Runners-up: Colsterworth Nature Trail and Deeping Lakes Nature Reserve

Small Business and Countryside Enterprise Award 2019
JRH Water management

To JRH Water Management, water is the forgotten renewable. The ease of turning a tap on has led to a lack of consideration about our use and wastage of water. Through innovative research and development, and looking for natural sources of water, JRH Water Management aim is to bring sustainable renewable water to agriculture. They specialise in rainwater harvesting from roofs, whole site water collection and using zero energy water pumping.

“We are still in shock that we won the award, we are very humbled that we were picked as winners and it proves that we are on the right path with the company.”
Michael Jorden
JRH Water Management

Small Business and Countryside Enterprise Award Runners-up: Sleaford Golf Club and The Artisan Honey Company

Anglian Water Business Award 2019
St Marks Shopping Centre, Lincoln

The St Marks Shopping Centre in Lincoln, paved and enclosed by buildings, would seem to offer little environmental opportunity. However, the management team is very aware of this and has looked for ways to be more sustainable and involve tenants and the community. Their coffee cup recycling scheme means that currently 1200 coffee cups per week are no longer heading for landfill. The prototype collection bins they commissioned from their supplier have been so successful that the company have had an order from several London boroughs. Other initiatives have seen the reduction of energy use and increase in recycling, the creation of a wildflower area and free to use secure cycle storage.

“We are absolutely thrilled to win the Business category at this year’s Lincolnshire’s Environmental Awards. As a shopping destination at the heart of Lincoln, we are working incredibly hard to ensure we are doing everything we can to help make the city a cleaner place to live.
“We have introduced several environmentally-friendly initiatives with the help and support of our retailers and we are already seeing great results. Recycling as much waste as we can, as well as keeping our streets tidier are paramount to us and it’s thanks to the support of our local community of shoppers which is helping us make such a positive impact. We are determined to make a difference and by implementing changes together, we can.”
Valerie Johnson
St Marks Shopping Centre Manager

Anglian Water Business Award Runners-up: Systematic Print Management Ltd and Freshtime UK Ltd

FCC Environment Lincolnshire Young Environmentalist Award 2019

The Lincolnshire Young Environmentalist Award was jointly awarded to Deeping St Nicholas Primary School and St Faith & St Martin Church of England Junior School at an event on Thursday 23 May at Whisby Nature Park.

The runners-up were Baston CE Primary School, Kirkby la Thorpe Primary Academy, Winchelsea Primary School and Jack Summers for his voluntary work with his Grandpa at Boutham Park in Lincoln.