The county’s green champions are to be recognised at Suffolk’s 10th Creating the Greenest County’s awards this summer.

Nominations are now open for individuals, businesses, communities, schools and voluntary organisations to be celebrated for the environmental work they do to combat climate change, or simply for improving the area where they live.

Many individuals have taken it on themselves to lead the way in making change, voluntary organisations have formed to help transform their local communities and businesses are taking their environmental responsibilities even more seriously.

Councillor Richard Rout, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for environment and public protection, said: “Even in the last three years, since the awards were last held, it feels like there has been a huge public awakening about how we need to better look after our environment. Although campaigns to combat climate change or to reduce our use of single-use plastics have been running for years, many people and businesses are now really starting to change their behaviour and attitudes towards caring for the environment. In the last year, I have been involved in some exciting projects at the council, from the installation of solar panels with Solar Together Suffolk, to the recently launched Plug In Suffolk, which is installing the UK’s first network of open charging points for electric vehicles. As I travel around the county, I’ve been fortunate to meet some amazing people and businesses who are doing things, great and small, to make a difference. I’ve just paid a visit to Birchwood Primary School in Martlesham, who were previous award winners, where the kids are involved so many eco-friendly projects. They grow produce for their own school meals and involve the local community as well. They are a real inspiration and should be extremely proud that they’re making a difference in Martlesham and Suffolk.”

Stephen Cloke, Headteacher at Birchwood Primary School, said: “Birchwood is proud that environmental issues are a highly valued and integral part of our school’s curriculum. We are able to achieve this through the global Eco-Schools programme. We encourage pupils to be passionate about our environment and to be active ambassadors for reducing unnecessary waste by recycling what we use into something practical and useful. The pupils lead school assemblies, share current environmental topics and lead various eco-related projects, such as involving the whole school in an art project to raise awareness of the effects of plastics in our oceans. They have now created a permanent and impressive sculpture of a pod of porpoise surrounded by a shoal of fish, made from recycled wire and single use plastics.”

The awards are a chance to shine a light on anyone who inspires others to make Suffolk a better place for its residents and its wildlife. This could be someone in your workplace who has persuaded you to ditch single-use coffee cups for a reusable mug, or an organisation which has transformed its business operations to be carbon-neutral.

Nominations for the ‘Creating the Greenest County’ awards are now open and close on Thursday 25 April 2019. Submit your nominations online now!

The Awards are sponsored by Adnams, BEE Anglia, Barnes Construction, East Suffolk Internal Drainage Board, New Anglia LEP, Suffolk Waste Partnership, University of Suffolk and Vertas. The awards are in partnership with BBC Radio Suffolk, Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Wildlife Trust.

If your business would like to sponsor the awards, please contact the Creating the Greenest County team.