2024 Award Winners

For our 13th year, we’ve received some excellent entries across all our categories. Read about the winners below.

The trophies for the Awards ceremony were designed and handcrafted by Gail Hatley – Glass Artist & Designer. You can find her page via her business Facebook page.

Hero: David Appleton

This year 1,100 people took part in the public vote for their Hero!

David has shown significant commitment and dedication to saving something rare and precious to Suffolk – The Native Black Poplar – Britain’s rarest native timber tree.

With support from the Suffolk Tree Warden Network, David decided he would:

  • Assist with managing and diversifying the Dedham Vale National Landscape and Nowton Park clone banks
  • Propagate new male and female trees via cuttings
  • Distribute those new trees via various local groups
  • Update the Suffolk Biodiversity Information Service database with new data, enabling future generations to locate specific trees for propagation or research

Come rain or shine, David was outside distributing, planting and surveying the trees. During winter 2022-23, David grew and distributed over 130 saplings. In winter 2023-24, David established a black poplar nursery and more than 250 saplings were grown and distributed.

Waste Reduction and Recycling: Obee CIC

At Orchard Barn we use traditional construction materials on projects to build community and bring people together to learn practical ways that reduce our impact on the environment. Courses teach householders, professionals, builders, volunteers, visitors how to source building materials from the local landscape, and build with trees and earth.

What the judges said: “The Waste Reduction and Recycling judging panel were hugely impressed with OBee CIC’s award submission. It was clear that much effort had gone into ensuring their work had a low impact on the environment, using natural and sustainable resources, reusing materials wherever possible and ensuring any waste products were put to good use. The panel also noted the use of materials from local suppliers as well as the engagement with a range of volunteers, local business and excellent outreach work, both on and offline.”

Community: Hadleigh Environmental Action Team (HEAT)

HEAT aims to help people, businesses and organisations in Hadleigh to always take climate change and loss of biodiversity into account in every decision they make.

What the judges said: “The panel was impressed by the wide range of activities and projects HEAT have been undertaking. There was something for everyone, and the group has a real sense of energy and commitment.  They have a focus on both people and the environmental which the judges feel is key to helping Suffolk reach Net Zero.”

High Education: West Suffolk College – Eastern Education Group

West Suffolk College is part of The Eastern Education Group. The Eastern Education Group brings together education at all levels and engages hundreds of young people each year. At Sixth Form and Higher Education, the Group directly enables over 15,000 students across the region to access the courses and connections they need to give them unparalleled regional, national and global opportunities.

What the judges said: “West Suffolk College Eastern Education Group has seamlessly integrated environmental education into their curriculum, surpassing conventional methods. With 136 staff members trained in carbon literacy, and a pupil authoring a children’s book on recycling, their dedication stands out.”

Primary Education: Heath Primary School

Heath is a dynamic, progressive school that is passionate about engaging children through a rich and diverse curriculum; this includes embracing technology, creating meaningful community links, and providing outdoor learning opportunities. At our core is the belief that we should respect not only one another, but the world we live in.

What the judges said: “Heath Primary School has delivered an incredibly broad range of environmental activities, from introducing energy monitors and wildlife ambassadors, to being awarded the first ‘Plastic Clever School’ in Suffolk and working with the local community in several areas. The judges all agreed that Heath Primary has a really strong pupil action focus and curriculum design, very inspiring. Well done!”

Business: Muntons PLC

At Muntons we deliver enjoyment to your life. We partner with the best food and drink companies globally to create more of what you love. With over 100 years’ experience in crafting the highest quality malt and malted ingredients, our teams live it, breathe it and share it with pride.

What the judges said: “Muntons demonstrates an embedded approach, conscientiously measuring and managing emissions to fulfil their carbon reduction commitments. Judges were impressed by Muntons continuous engagement with their suppliers and staff in this process.”

Tourism: The Long Shop Museum

The museum was created to preserve the 18th century works of Richard Garrett & Sons, and to reveal the unique history behind the manufactory, the Garrett family, the workers and townsfolk who made Garrett’s and Leiston famous, and the agricultural and industrial revolutions that changed life in Britain forever.

What the judges said: “The panel was impressed by the works to improve heating, lighting and insulation – an achievement that has enabled them to be the first carbon net zero museum in East Anglia, a huge achievement in such an old building!  But what made the entry stand out further was the way visitors were engaged, the museum successfully uses the exhibits and building to encourage visitors to think about historic energy use and environmental impact and the opportunities to do things differently going forward.”

Enhancing Biodiversity and Landscape: Bury Water Meadows Group

Bury Water Meadows Group is a registered charity (CIO) that exists to safeguard ancient open space and to conserve and improve the Rivers Lark and Linnet and their water meadows in Bury St Edmunds for the benefit of the public and wildlife.

What the judges said: “Bury Water Meadows Group engages in high-impact conservation efforts across multiple sites, notably supporting the water vole, a species of high priority. Their future plans demonstrate a commitment to enhancing access and fostering continued community engagement.”

Small Business: Radical Waste

The company’s vision is “to be a global influencing company that drives change through self-sustainable recycling and commodity recovery in an attempt to obtain end of waste with all we do”.

We have a dedicated recycling and waste processing facility in Beccles and we provide waste management services across Norfolk and Suffolk.

What the judges said: “They are a pioneering company that is taking strong action to minimise their impact. Achieving zero waste to landfill is an amazing achievement! The judges were particularly impressed with the tracking of waste so that customers can measure and thus manage the waste they are creating. This would have a huge impact nationally if others followed their lead. Well done!”