A sculpture commemorating four brothers – three of whom lost their lives in the First World War – has been declared one of the winners of County Durham’s annual Environment Awards.

The Brothers at War sculpture at Witton Park – which remembers the four local Bradford brothers – came top in the craftsmanship category.

The Bradford Brothers were all highly decorated soldiers. The youngest brother, Roland, rose rapidly through the ranks and became the youngest brigadier general in the British army at the age of just 25. Killed in 1917 in the Battle of Cambrai, Roland was awarded the Victoria Cross.

George, 31 – who was also awarded the Victoria Cross – died after volunteering for a mission against German submarines at Zeebrugge.

James, whose actions in the Battle of the Somme won him a Military Cross, was wounded towards the end of the war and died from his injuries in hospital.

Thomas Bradford was the only brother to come back from the First World War. Before the war, he had captained Durham County Cricket Club, and after returning he stood for Parliament twice and was knighted in 1939.

The Brothers at War sculpture was made by Seaham artist Ray Lonsdale.

Craftsmanship_Brothers at War
The winners of the craftsmanship award

Other Environment Awards went to the Cornerstone Sensory Garden in Evenwood, which is designed for the needs of dementia sufferers, and to the 1st Burnmoor Scouts in Fencehouses. The scouts worked together with care home residents to clear a derelict site and create a community garden, helping to combat social isolation.

Now in their 28th year, the Environment Awards are organised by the County Durham Environment Partnership to celebrate great design, environmental guardianship and community spirit.

This year’s awards saw 53 entries from across County Durham. At a special ceremony last Thursday, 12 were declared category winners and a further 21 were highly commended.

The night’s winners included Crook Hall, which triumphed in the Built Environment category, and Durham University’s Van Mildert College Outreach, which was declared Volunteer Group of the Year.

Vol Under 18_1st Burnmoor Scouts
The 1st Burnmoor Scouts pick up their award

The chair of the County Durham Environment Partnership, Oliver Sherratt, said, “These awards are a unique opportunity to celebrate the fantastic achievements of people who dedicate their time to improve the environment in County Durham.”

“Once again we have seen a wide range of excellent projects and I never fail to be impressed by the commitment of those individuals and groups who give up their time to make County Durham a better place for people to live and visit.”

This year’s Environment Awards were sponsored by Durham County Council, Banks Group, Durham Wildlife Trust, Durham University, Groundwork and The Northern Echo.

Cllr Simon Henig, the chair of the County Durham Partnership, said, “Congratulations to all of the nominees and winners in this year’s Environment Awards who thoroughly deserve all this accolade.”

“These awards are a great way to shine a light on those individuals and groups who make a real difference to our county and they should be proud of their achievements.”

For more information about the Environment Awards and a full list of the winners, please visit www.countydurhampartnership.co.uk/envawards. Environmental news can also be followed on #altogethergreener on Twitter.

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