Individuals, groups and businesses who have gone the extra mile to help improve the environment in County Durham in the past year are being invited to be recognised at a special awards ceremony.

This week saw the launch of the 2021 County Durham Environment Awards, an annual event rewarding projects that demonstrate great design, environmental guardianship and community spirit across the county. They are hosted by the County Durham Environment and Climate Change Partnership, with the aim of recognising the efforts of a range of organisations, communities and individuals.

It is the 32nd year for County Durham’s most prestigious green event, which celebrates businesses, community volunteers and schools and colleges that make a difference to the sustainability and the natural and built environment of the county.

This year’s awards were launched with a litter pick at the entrance to Bishop Auckland attraction Kynren. Volunteers from Bishop Auckland and Coundon in Bloom joined with Durham County Council’s Civic Pride team for the clean-up. Representatives from Cultivate 4 Life, who previously won an award in the Community Partnership category, also took part.

Entries this year are now being accepted in the following categories: climate change; community partnership; craftmanship; greener business; natural environment; places and spaces; schools and colleges and volunteer groups.

Because of the ongoing pandemic, it is expected that a virtual awards ceremony will once again take place, as it did successfully in 2020, attracting around 630 viewings in one weekend. Organisers are giving entrants longer to apply and applications will be taken up until September, with a panel of experts selecting the winners in each category in the autumn.

Jim Cokill, chair of the County Durham Environment and Climate Change Partnership said: “Despite the impact of coronavirus, we have still had plenty of people and organisations doing their bit to tackle climate change and improve the local environment.

“I’m really looking forward to hearing about the fantastic work that entrants have done.”

Cllr Mark Wilkes, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and climate change, said: “We know that so many people go out of their way to help protect our environment in County Durham and it is only right that they are recognised for this.

“As a council, tackling climate change and reducing environmental impacts are among our top priorities and we’re aware that our communities are also committed to contributing to this. If you think someone is deserving of an award then please take the time to nominate them via the awards submissions webpage.”

For more information and to nominate an individual, group or business for an award, go to

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