Schools, businesses and volunteers have been celebrated at Suffolk County Council’s Creating The Greenest County 2024 Awards. A image of the Greenest County Award winners on stage.

Awards were presented yesterday (Wednesday 27 March) at an event at The Hold in Ipswich, hosted by Mark Murphy. Guest speaker was Tom Heap, presenter on BBC1’s Countryfile and Radio 4’s Costing the Earth.

The awards acknowledge the incredibly valuable environmental work that is being done throughout Suffolk, by bringing people together, sharing ideas and inspiring one another.

Councillor Richard Rout, Suffolk County Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Environment, said:

“What a privilege to meet and recognise all these fantastic, enthusiastic Suffolk champions of our environment – everyone nominated for an award should feel incredibly proud of what they’re achieving.

“It’s so encouraging to see people across the whole county taking a lead on climate action in their community – from the young children at Heath Primary School setting an example and making a difference, to established businesses like Muntons who put sustainability at the centre of all their business operations.

“It’s inspiring to hear businesses and communities are not just doing practical things to combat climate change, but are really focusing on how they operate and reducing their own emissions.”

The winners of the Creating The Greenest County 2024 Awards, are:

Hero (sponsored by Barnes Construction, voted for by the public):

In 2022, David Appleton decided to save something rare and precious for Suffolk: the Native Black Poplar (NBP), Britain’s rarest native timber tree. David has grown and distributed hundreds of saplings across the region, carefully recording and registering each one. He also worked directly with the Conservation Genomics Research Unit in Italy, supplying samples from Suffolk trees for testing as part of a Europe-wide project to map Black Poplar genomics. David has been in demand across the country and is currently co-organising an NBP conference for April 2024. David’s work will green Suffolk for generations to come.

Community (sponsored by Suffolk Climate Change Partnership):

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.

The judges said:

“We were impressed by the wide range of activities and projects HEAT has 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.”

Higher Education (sponsored by Spring):

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.

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 School (sponsored by Spring):

Heath Primary School 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 their core is the belief that we should respect not only one another, but the world we live in.

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. We all agreed that Heath Primary has a really strong pupil action focus and curriculum design, very inspiring. Well done!”

Business (sponsored by University of Suffolk):
MUNTONS PLC (Stowmarket)

Muntons has been a leading supplier of brewing and distilling malts and malted ingredients to the food & drinks industry. It continues to be a family-owned business, employing a team of over 250 at the Stowmarket headquarters and over 300 people globally.

The judges said:

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

Small Business (sponsored by McCann):

Radical Waste is a full-service waste management business operating throughout Suffolk and Norfolk. They offer a wide selection of on-site waste services, as well as skip hire, recycling and general waste bin collection services.

The judges said:

“They are a pioneering company that is taking strong action to minimise their impact. Reaching zero waste to landfill is an amazing achievement. We 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!”

Tourism (sponsored by New Wolsey Theatre):

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.

The judges said:

“We were 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 buildings 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 (sponsored by Milestone):

Bury Water Meadows Group is a registered charity 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.

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.”

Waste Reduction and Recycling (sponsored by SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK):

Orchard Barn is a volunteer run Centre for Environmental Education specialising in natural and traditional building courses. Courses teach householders, professionals, builders, volunteers, visitors how to source building materials from the local landscape, and build with trees and earth.

The judges said:

“We were hugely impressed with Orchard Barn’s nomination. 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. We 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.”

Suffolk County Council would like to thank the Awards other sponsors: Aspall, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, and WarmPro Insulation Specialists Ltd.

To read more about the Awards, visit