Greenest County awards launched at Suffolk One and BBC’s Springwatch presenter Chris Packham announced as keynote speaker for awards ceremony

Andy Brown of Anglian Water, (L to R) Chairmann David Barker, Cllr Beccy Hopfensperger, Kevin Robins

Andy Brown of Anglian Water, (L to R) Chairmann David Barker, Cllr Beccy Hopfensperger, Kevin Robinson and Sarah Partridge of Orchard Barn Environmental Education, Michael Peachey and Ross Barrett of Suffolk One at the launch of the Suffolk Creating the Greenest County Awards 2015. Photograph Simon Parker - Credit: Archant

One of Britain’s most outspoken environmental champions is to be the figurehead of Suffolk’s increasingly popular ‘green gongs’ in 2015.

The audience at the launch of the Suffolk Creating the Greenest County Awards 2015. Photograph Simon

The audience at the launch of the Suffolk Creating the Greenest County Awards 2015. Photograph Simon Parker - Credit: Archant

Naturalist and broadcaster Chris Packham will give the environmental awards ceremony’s keynote address in the internationally-acclaimed auditorium at Snape Maltings at the end of a process which began last night with the awards’ launch at the Suffolk One college in Ipswich.

Packham, a frequent visitor to Suffolk and one of the presenters of the BBC’s Springwatch series which is being hosted for three years by the RSPB’s famous Minsmere nature reserve, will address the glittering awards ceremony in April.

His agreement to become closely involved in the awards scheme was announced by David Barker, chairman of Suffolk’s Creating the Greenest County environmental partnership.

Mr Barker told launch event guests: “You know him through Springwatch and his heart really is in the environment.

Ross Barrett of Suffolk One at the launch of the Suffolk Creating the Greenest County Awards 2015. P

Ross Barrett of Suffolk One at the launch of the Suffolk Creating the Greenest County Awards 2015. Photograph Simon Parker - Credit: Archant


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“I have huge admiration for him – we need green heroes and he is certainly one of them.”

Declaring entries open for the awards’ 13 categories, Mr Barker said the scheme was in its eighth year and had recognised the “fantastic” environmental efforts that were taking place to protect and enhance the environment in Suffolk.

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More than 100 awards had been presented over the years and nearly 1,000 nominations had been received.

“It is incredibly important that people take pride in taking part in these awards because they are special. We face challenges and they are not getting smaller,” Mr Barker said.

Andy Brown of Anglian Water at the launch of the Suffolk Creating the Greenest County Awards 2015. P

Andy Brown of Anglian Water at the launch of the Suffolk Creating the Greenest County Awards 2015. Photograph Simon Parker - Credit: Archant

“We need to balance economic growth with the protection of our natural and historic assets and we need to be resilient to the future impacts of climate change.

“I am a farmer and I see that climate change is certainly taking place – the climate change deniers are really not in the real world.”

Creating the Greenest County is working in partnership with the awards’ main sponsor, Anglian Water. Twelve of the award categories will be judged by panels of judges.

They are climate adaption, green hero, greenest building, greenest business, greenest micro-business, greenest product or service, greenest community project, landscape and biodiversity, local food and drink, renewable energy, waste and recycling and sustainable tourism.

The latter is new for 2015 and is sponsored by the East Anglian Daily Times. One category – greenest school – will be decided by a public vote.

The closing date for entries is January 31, 2015.

For more awards launch see our webpage.

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