Suffolk Council held it’s annual Greenest County Awards ceremony, highlighting displays of environmental commitment by communities across the county.
The votes have been counted and judges have chosen the winners for Suffolk County Council’s Creating The Greenest County 2023 Awards.
Nine awards have been presented to schools, businesses, community groups and this year’s Green Hero: Jason Alexander from Ipswich.
The awards were presented today (Wednesday 8 March) at an event at The Hold in Ipswich, hosted by Mark Murphy from BBC Radio Suffolk, with guest speaker Christine Luxton, Chief Executive Officer at Suffolk Wildlife Trust.
Commenting on the awards, Councillor Richard Rout, Suffolk County Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Environment, said:
“With over 100 nominations for all our awards, and 2,200 votes cast for our Green Hero, there is so much energy and passion in Suffolk to care for our local environment.
“Huge congratulations to all our award winners, but all our nominees should feel proud for inspiring others around them. They help us all to understand the changes that we need to make in our lives, to protect our natural environment, reduce carbon emissions, make our homes more efficient, and reduce our energy and water use.
“This desire is replicated at the council through our ambitions to become net zero by 2030, to increase the levels of biodiversity on our property, and to work with partners across the county on Suffolk’s Climate Emergency Plan. As we face continual rising prices, I believe that a cleaner future is not enemy of the cost-of-living, it is a huge part of the answer to it.”
The winners of the Creating The Greenest County 2023 Awards, are:
Green Hero: Jason Alexander – Rubbish Walks (Ipswich & across Suffolk)
Jason raises awareness about littering, recycling and waste in general across Suffolk and far beyond. In the last year or so, he has completed a 24 hour Litterthon, been involved with over 340 litter picks and beach cleans, filling 900 bags with Rubbish Walk volunteers. He has also partnered with Ipswich Borough Council, Ipswich Town FC and Suffolk Libraries. Jason received over one-third of all 2,259 votes cast by members of the public.
Waste Reduction and Recycling Still: Good Food
Still Good Food rescues surplus food and redistribute it to the public through their shops in Bury St Edmunds and Great Barton. The judges said:
“They are making a significant impact on food waste reduction and helping people source good food in times of rising living costs. We also liked the work they are doing with gleaning from farms as well as their school outreach work.”
Green Community: Bury Bike Train
The Bury Bike Train is a way for children to ride their own bikes to and from school in a group, supported by adult cyclists. The judges said:
“This is an exciting and active new initiative, involving families across the generations, reducing traffic, and encouraging alternative transports. They present the whole biking package to involve health, wellbeing, air quality and reducing fossil fuels which promote biking-for-life habits and lessons for the future.”
Green School (Secondary): Sybil Andrews Academy
Based in Bury St Edmunds, the school runs many environmental projects, including a Gardening Club, growing flowers for local residents, and organising trips with the Suffolk Wildlife Trust. The judges said:
“The children show an outstanding approach towards embedding sustainability into the school across all aspects of the curriculum and community life. They have ambitious plans and engage with other local primary schools, businesses and the community.”
Green School (Primary): Birchwood Primary School
Based in Martlesham, the school has held the Eco School’s Green Flag for the eight years running, is a DEFRA egg production unit, has their own school of horticulture, Birchwood Beehive and rare breeds flock. The judges said:
“The children have a fantastic amount of activities in place, many of which involve the local community and reach into family life. The wide range of activities embeds a strong sense of sustainability across the school and local community – it’s clearly a real aspect of the school’s culture and core values.”
Green Business: University of Suffolk
By 2030, the University will be recognised for the major contribution it makes to the health and wellbeing of the people in the region and acknowledged for lasting social and sustainable economic transformation. The judges said:
“This is an organisation that has really got to grips with its Net Zero ambition. They demonstrate a consistent vision for environmental excellence and a broad range of environmental improvements, and have achieved a 76% reduction in carbon emissions since 2009/10. They take a really comprehensive approach that includes renewable energy and efficiency measures, but also green roofs, EV salary sacrifice and a full life cycle approach to procurement.”
Green Tourism: Ivy Grange Farm
Ivy Grange Farm Barn is a newly renovated 17th century grain store and milking parlour, set in the heart of the Suffolk countryside close to the fabulous beaches of Southwold and Walberswick. It offers a luxurious holiday experience, with a sprinkling of adventure all within a sustainable wrapper. The judges said:
“They are strong in all areas of sustainability, having made significant actions on reducing emissions, biodiversity and visitor engagement in the last 18 months. They innovatively engagement with their guests to explore different aspects of sustainability during their stay, and have a practical implementation plan for the next steps in their journey.”
Biodiversity and Landscape: Long Melford Biodiversity Group
The group examines ways in which the village could be made more environmentally friendly, and how more land, both public and private, could be dedicated to nature. They also actively seek deliverable opportunities to mitigate and adapt to climate change, including moving to a low carbon economy. The judges said:
“They have impressed with the reach and impact that they have achieved, considering how recently the group formed. They have created a variety of habitats and undertake much maintenance work, involving a wide range of members of the community. We are excited to see the impact they will have on their community, their landscape and local wildlife moving forwards.”
Green Small Business: Depden Care Farm
Depden Care Farm offers therapeutic placements to adults with learning disabilities, acquired brain injuries and those recovering their mental health.The judges said:
“They ticked every possible box to win this award. It is run with the ethos of an organic farm but with incredible benefits for both the education and community aspects. The Care Farm also helps with biodiversity by growing unusual strains of vegetables and a wide range of trees in the orchard. They also have a well thought out and ambitious strategic plan to move forward over the next few years.”
Chamber’s Levelling Up skills panel
Chamber held a panel discussion of Suffolk leaders live from Ipswich, in the latest episode of Levelling Up the Conversation. Chaired by Ian Hudspeth, Former Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, the panel included:
- Peter Aldous MP for Waveney
- Jack Abbot, Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Ipswich
- Jackie Partridge, Youth Engagement Manager at Inspire Suffolk
- Tom McGarry, Head of Regional External Affairs at Sizewell C
To watch the discussion, see our YouTube channel and the video below: