Meet our Judges

In addition to the support of our generous sponsors, these awards wouldn’t be possible without the time, energy and integrity of our judges. These people are committed to helping the county to reach Net Zero by 2030 – find out more about them below.

Patrick Barker

EJ Barker & Sons

“As a Suffolk farmer and naturalist I know first hand the richness and diversity of our wildlife and landscapes and am passionate about a natural environment full of life. I work hard to manage a landscape that is productive but also full of wildlife whilst having a little environmental impact as possible. I know the positive effect that people can have on the natural world and in turn, the effect it can have on people. Bringing people together to enjoy and appreciate the natural world is key to any successful environmental project. I am delighted to be able to judge the Suffolk, Creating the Greenest County Awards again because the awards celebrate the terrific team and individual efforts that go in to making Suffolk the wonderful, green county that it is.”

Environmental Sustainability Officer | East Suffolk Council

Daniel has lived in East Suffolk for most of his life and holds a lifelong passion for environmental matters particularly wildlife. He maintains a wildlife friendly garden including a wildlife pond, hedgehog highway, hotbin, and raised beds. After graduating from University of Essex in Ecology & Environmental Biology, Daniel joined the District Council’s waste management team promoting the waste hierarchy and working on waste reduction projects for a number of years, including project managing the award-winning Tip-Off Suffolk campaign, before working briefly with the Wildlife Trusts in Essex and is now the Environmental Sustainability Officer for East Suffolk Council, as well as Secretary of the Greenprint Forum and volunteer Plastic Action Champion.

Community Support Officer | Suffolk Climate Change Partnership

“I am honoured to be asked to judge this year’s Greenest County Awards. I have a deep and abiding love for Suffolk having lived in the county since 1990. Its unique landscapes and tranquillity call out to be protected and enhanced. Since childhood I have immersed myself in nature and the outdoors wanting to care and enjoy all it has to offer. I assisted setting up Woodbridge Transition Group and Woodbridge Elmhurst Park Kitchen Community Garden. I work as the Community Support Officer for Suffolk Climate Change Partnership I daily see the amazing events and initiatives that are happening throughout the county.”

Environment Strategy Officer | Suffolk County Council

Peter Frost holds the position of Environment Strategy Officer for Suffolk County Council and is part of the Carbon Charter project. This enables Small and Medium Enterprises all over Norfolk and Suffolk to access advice and accreditation towards cutting their carbon footprint and boosting their business through improved efficiency. He is keen to spread the word about how companies can be at the forefront of the new paradigm of sustainability and how society will change in the near future. He has also been a key instigator of the ‘Plug in Suffolk’ programme to accelerate the rollout of electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the county.

Assistant Flood and Water Project Manager, Suffolk County Council

Sandra has lived and worked all her life in Suffolk, living in Ipswich for the past 30 years, with a modest summer retreat in the Waveney countryside. Originally qualifying and working in highway engineering, with a brief career in local politics, Sandra now works in Suffolk County Council’s Flood and Water Management Team developing community projects to address flood risk. She has years of hands on experience of community volunteering in not for profit small organisations, and is Trustee of Lighthouse Women’s Aid, Chair of a self-funding pop-up library, and member of a COVID prompted Good Neighbour Scheme.

Aponic Aeroponic Vertical Farm Design and Manufacturer

Jason is the founder of Aponic Ltd one of our previous winners. He is a design engineer and programmer and has built his company by creating a turn-key controlled environment system that houses his vertical aeroponic farming equipment. His products help farmers produce sustainable, clean and consistent food 52 weeks a year, growing faster, using 95% less water and with zero run-off.

Primary Education Lecturer | University College London

Janet has worked as both a secondary geography teacher and primary school teacher in Suffolk and Norfolk, and as an adviser for schools. Since 2011, she has worked at University College London, Faculty of Education and Society, where she teaches geography and leads on climate change and sustainability within the PGCE programme. She is also part of UCL’s Centre for Climate Change and Sustainability Education (CCCSE), involved in devising CPD for teachers and engaging in research on teaching about climate change and enquiry for action. Janet is a native of Suffolk, lives in the county and volunteers in conservation.

Head of Property Management | Vertas Group

Nadine is Head of Property Management for Vertas Group and she leads the company’s Continuous Improvement Group for Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG). Nadine has developed the Group’s ESG policy and pledges across key business areas of People, Places, Partners, and the Planet to achieve the Group’s commitment to reach Net Zero 2030. Nadine is certified as Carbon Literate for the purposes of workplace, education, and community and is delighted to be invited to judge the Suffolk Creating the Greenest County Awards 2023.

Dr Matthew Ling MEnvSC CEnv | Environment Strategy Manager | Suffolk County Council

Matthew has lived in Suffolk over the last 30 years with Claire and their children, a black labrador, chickens and sometimes a few thousand honeybees! After studying engineering at University he worked in automotive, building and environmental research and consultancy in England and New Zealand. He taught at Suffolk College before working for local government leading on environmental services, built environment and public protection. He helped set up Elmhurst Kitchen Community Garden, Transition Woodbridge and the Suffolk Climate Change Partnership. Matthew is Suffolk County Council’s Environment Strategy Manager involved in the Warm Homes Suffolk energy efficiency retrofit work, carbon budgeting and electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Managing Director | Howard Nurseries

Christine Howard Managing Director Howard Nurseries has led the company to be one of the environmental leaders in the UK horticultural industry. Howard Nurseries has been a Gold Carbon Charter member for 10 years, listed as one of Archants Green 100 members, alongside receiving The Creating the Greenest Country Water Award 2014. Christine understands the challenges of running a business alongside balancing the desire to make environmental decisions. ‘I have seen the impact of Howard’s environment decisions for inspiring our stakeholders to support Howards, alongside encouraging other businesses to start being more environmentally aware”. It has been an incredible journey.

Head of Environment Strategy | Suffolk County Council

Matt has been working in the environment sector for nearly 30 years, from planting trees and managing habitat in the 1990s to currently leading teams tackling the Climate Emergency and reducing flood risk across Suffolk.  The green tourism offer has always been strong in Suffolk and Matt is very much looking forward to discovering more about what this innovative industry is currently doing to support sustainable visits to his home county.

Suffolk Climate Change Partnership Manager | Suffolk Climate Change Partnership

Emma Dixon has over 23 years of working in the environmental and sustainability sector, having worked at the Environment Agency, SCC, the Water Management Alliance before she took over the role of the Suffolk Climate Change Partnership Manager in March 2022. Emma has lots of experience when it comes to judging Green Heroes  – she ran the Awards for several years and has met literally hundreds of inspirational people from across Suffolk!

Member Experience Manager at Suffolk Building Society (sponsor)

“I am already passionate about safeguarding our environment for future generations. I have worked closely with numerous environmental groups such as the Marine Conservation Society and Suffolk Wildlife Trust on a voluntary basis. My professional career with Suffolk Building Society focuses on corporate governance and more recently I have taken part in two training initiatives to improve my knowledge on Environmental, Social and Governance, to  support the Suffolk Building Society mission to protect local nature and being a safe home for savers and to provide safe homes for our communities”.

Strategic Lead for the Suffolk Visitor Economy | Suffolk Growth Partnership

“I’m delighted to join the judging panel for this important new award focussing on the Tourism sector. My aim is to bring to the group several years of experience working with local cultural, leisure, community and tourism businesses around sector improvement and development, with strong links to regional and national tourism agencies. Moving towards a low carbon sustainable visitor economy in Suffolk is an ambition prioritised by Suffolk Growth, working with our key stakeholders and I’m passionate about making a difference to Suffolk’s sustainable tourism offer and promoting the good practice in the sector.”

Director of Wildlife Conservation and Recovery, Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Ben is Director of Wildlife Conservation and Recovery for Suffolk Wildlife Trust. He has nearly 25 years’ experience of working in the conservation sector, working in Suffolk for over a decade. He has oversight of the management of Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s 50 nature reserves and is also responsible for leading the teams that focus on species specific conservation projects, planning and advocacy work, wildlife advice across the county as well as the ecological consultancy, Wilder Ecology. He previously worked for RSPB, Environment Agency and in the commercial sector.

Head of Natural & Historic Environment, Suffolk County Council

“I have a life-long passion for the natural environment and helping people to connect with and enjoy it. I have lived in Suffolk for over 30 years but in my professional career I have been involved in a wide variety of national and local environmental, heritage and rural development initiatives. I have been in my current role as Head of Natural & Historic Environment at Suffolk County Council since 2018. I’m delighted to be a judge for the Greenest County Awards in 2023 to help ensure that we recognise and celebrate the great work going on to enhance Suffolk’s wildlife and landscapes”.

Sustainability and Environment Manager | University of Suffolk

Justine has been an environmental professional for over 20 years; starting her career as a fast track graduate within the Ministry of Defence and later running her own environmental consultancy assisting blue chip companies, SME’s and public sector organisations. Justine is currently the Head of Sustainability and Programme at the University of Suffolk and chair of the South East Region for the Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges. She is additionally, an active member of the Suffolk Climate Change Partnership and Carbon Charter Panel member. Her current focus is upon researching and supporting sustainable development and decarbonisation within the built environment.  Identifying and developing approaches to the implementation of Education for Sustainability Development and widening external partnership engagement and collaborations through the Suffolk Sustainability Institute.  With an undergraduate degree in Environmental Analysis and a Post Graduate in Environmental Management for Business; she also is a Chartered Environmentalist and full member of both the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment and the Institute of Environmental Sciences.

Carbon Negative Nature Positive Programme Manager | Suffolk County Council

“I have over ten years’ experience working with sustainable businesses in Suffolk – including establishing the Carbon Charter and managing Business Energy Efficiency (BEE) Anglia. I am constantly inspired by the levels of innovation and commitment that Suffolk businesses show for the environment, and am delighted to be involved in raising their profile, and laying down a challenge for all Suffolk businesses to match.

I hold an MSc in Environmental Science from UEA and am now Programme Manager for Suffolk County Council’s Carbon Negative; Nature Positive ambitions.”

Climate Emergency Programme Manager | Suffolk County Council

David works as the Climate Emergency Programme Manager for the Suffolk Climate Change, Environment & Energy Board, coordinating delivery of the Suffolk Climate Emergency Plan on behalf of the county’s Public Sector Leaders. He coordinates the programme of work in support of Plan delivery and has previously delivered and secured funding for a broad range of county-wide carbon reduction projects, including those in support of business resource efficiency, since joining Suffolk County Council in 2009.