Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Eco village makes mark on national stage

Irwin Lee, Proctor and Gamble, Karen Davies, from Stafford Borough Council, Cheryl Birks from Derrington – Way Ahead and Josephine Fairley, co-founder of Green and Blacks chocolate.

A village near Stafford has again made its mark on the national stage for its work to improve the environment.

Derrington came runner up in the UK-wide Future Friendly awards seeing off hundreds of rivals in the process. It was one of only three shortlisted for the top prize in the Community Awards category. The community led project has seen solar panels fitted to the village hall roof, planting a school orchard, distributing fruit trees to local families and arranging energy visits to homes.

The awards were run by global consumer product giant Proctor and Gamble. The ‘Derrington – Way Ahead’ project was started by village residents and the borough council to make the village the first low carbon community in the area.  

The village has also held community days where residents helped to build benches for a popular walking trail, set up an annual food festival and worked with the local brownie group to create nest boxes and plant seeds. And more unusual projects have included families adopting apple trees and shoe recycling in the village hall.

It is no stranger to success – it was a regional winner at the same awards last year and has previously picked up a national ‘Green Apple’ award for its environmental efforts.

The latest award comes with a £500 prize which will be put towards future eco-friendly initiatives. The Future Friendly Awards have been going for six years to recognise great environmental efforts across the country.

Councillor Frank Finlay, cabinet member for environment and health at Stafford Borough Council said: “Yet again Derrington has proved a yardstick for all that is good environmentally and congratulations to those involved who are again punching above their weight by taking on larger areas across the UK, in competitions like this, and securing more funding for their excellent initiatives.

“It is a good demonstration of how a community can get together along with their local council to improve where they live.”

To find out more about the work go to www.staffordbc.gov.uk/derrington-way-ahead

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