Thirteen groups, organisations, schools and individuals were honoured with winner, runner-up or highly commended awards across six categories in what is now the event’s 12th year.Representatives of all shortlisted entries were invited to attend an awards ceremony at The Alnwick Garden, which was hosted by BBC Radio Newcastle presenter Anna Foster.In the Schools Go Smarter Sustainable Travel Award, Eastlea Primary School in Cramlington took top spot. Over the past year it has organised a whole host of activities to encourage pupils to walk, cycle or scoot to school.The Best Children’s and Young People’s project winner was the 1st Whittingham BP Scout Group. They have been undertaking environmental work and hikes in the countryside since they were formed in 2004, but have pushed the links with local estates, volunteers and businesses since the start of lockdown, getting the children out into the open air, learning in a safe way during the pandemic.Highly Commended were Cramlington Youth Council – a group of 26 students eager to support a community they love, who meet weekly to discuss issues important to them and their ideas help to shape Cramlington Town Council strategy.Runners-up in this category were Groundwork North East for their Green Futures Project. This year the Best Urban Project was awarded to Seghill Clean Team. Created in March last year, it is run by three local residents who wanted to address the issues of rubbish, litter, fly-tipping and general maintenance in their community.Joint runners-up were Friends of Eastwood Park and Friends of Furnace Bank.Highly Commended were Friends of Crofton Field for their project – Transforming Crofton Heap. The restoration of Cresswell Pele Tower was crowned Best Coast or Countryside Project. This scheme has transformed a roofless, vandalised ruin into a fully restored and accessible historic building for current and future generations to enjoy and appreciate.As well as restoring the tower they have also done a huge amount of work, with the help of volunteers, improving the woodland that surrounds the tower by removing masses of debris and rubbish, planted over 100 native trees and a variety of wildflowers and bulbs.Runner up was Embleton Quarry Working Group - a small band of volunteers who manage the former quarry and waste site on behalf of the community and seek to build links with outside agencies to help them in their work. There were also three organisations Highly Commended: Acklington Parish Council for its footpath restoration, Carham 1018 Society and Battlefields Trust for its project to research a little known episode in the history of the area and the Fifth Point Diving Centre, which carries out litter picks.The Best Community Response to Climate Change Emergency was won by Sustrans for the Wylam Waggonway.The Marine Project winner was Jane Hardy who has dedicated her time to the protection of the coastal environment and the wildlife in the region. She is one of the most senior marine mammal medics in the North East and responds to injured or stranded mammals.The Land Project Winner was Jane Hodson-Hamilton – nominated by Ponteland Parish Council. Jane started litter picking during the pandemic and has not stopped since.
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