As this year’s ECHO environmental awards draw closer, it’s time to look back at what the 2021 winners have accomplished over the past year.
The Environment Awards reward those in Merseyside who have put climate change firmly on their agenda and can go to people, businesses, schools or community projects. Last year’s environmentalists had a busy year organizing events like climate change festivals and protests.
Nominations for this year’s awards closed on May 11th. The awards ceremony – which will again be in person – will take place on June 1st at the Isla Gladstone Conservatory in Liverpool.
CONTINUE READING:“We were overjoyed to have won an Echo environmental award”
As a result, last year’s winners continued to work to make Liverpool and the surrounding area a more sustainable place.
Rimrose Valley Friends CIO – Winner of the Healthy Living Award
The Friends of Rimrose Valley, founded by a resident to make the most of the valley’s green spaces, won last year’s Healthy Living Award for using the environment to help people improve their health.
The friends have focused on their campaign to save the valley’s peaceful surroundings. National Highways have proposed building a road through the valley from Switch Island to the port of Liverpool.
They held a mass demonstration in August, attended by nearly 1,000 people, including a rally in the park grounds and a march to the port gates. This meant roads have been closed and they continue to work with politicians and environmentalists to stop the proposal.
Despite this, they managed to host green feel-good events for the community. They hosted free forest school lessons for toddlers that included forest crafts and marshmallow toasting.
They also offer free active outdoor programs for families with a choice of practice soccer or a trail around the park. People were spoiled for choice as they could also take part in pop-up yoga events, garbage picking and nature walks – including one in the fall which involved identifying species of mushrooms in the park.
St. Julie’s High School – Green School of the Year winner
The Green School of the Year award aims to recognize any school in Merseyside that takes an active approach to sustainability and healthy living. Last year, St. Julie’s High School in Woolton won the award for its new world citizenship curriculum for ninth grade students, which traces the history of climate change since the Industrial Revolution.
Lee-Ann Gawley, the lead teacher for the Global Citizenship program, said: “We’ve been busy this year continuing our environmental studies. We are very proud of that within the school and we are very fortunate to have beautiful grounds in the suburbs to make all of this possible.”
This year the school will host another climate change festival in July and the students continue to enjoy the Global Citizenship program.
The school is also trying to reduce single-use plastic. They designed a reusable water bottle for ninth grade students and installed water fountains on each floor so they can be refilled.
St. Julie’s uses its grounds to encourage wildlife. They planted 30 silver birches for insect shelters, 12 crab apple trees for insect flowers, 10 oak trees for insect habitats, and 30 Scots pine and yew hedges for nesting sites.
Students can make the most of this by joining the new wellness garden club at lunchtime, where they will plant shrubs and plan to set up an insect hotel to increase biodiversity at school. Ladybugs were attracted to the new hedges.
Climate ambassadors write articles for the weekly parent newsletter and the school organizes a visit to the Lake District in June or July.
ReStore St Helens – Winner of Green Business of the Year
ReStore in StHelens is a community project and furniture upcycling company aiming to reduce resource poverty in the area. The Green Business of the Year is awarded to a company that puts the environment at the heart of its work.
Julie Waring, Project Manager, said: “Since winning the award our business has grown and many customers from outside the region have come to see what we do.
“We have new customers and new volunteers. Our social media page on Facebook has grown overnight and we now have many loyal followers who love seeing the upcycled items we convert from the furniture donations we receive.
“People are really interested in reducing landfill and I think that’s what drives many to donate their furniture, knowing they’re getting a second chance. Our volunteer base is made up of several people who have been with the project from the beginning, and the skills they have acquired over the three and a half years since we opened are evident in the quality of the furniture we upcycle.”
The Pets Country Manor Ltd – Winner of the Zero Waste Award
Pets Country Manor Hotel, a luxury five-star cat hotel based in Tarbock Green, took home the Zero Waste Award last year. The company has gone from strength to strength since winning, introducing new services like ‘Paw Afternoon Tea’ and ‘Kitty Tapas’.
Business owners Victoria Corcoran and Craig Hailes also received another award for their community service. The company cares for more than 100 cats daily and uses an 80kW biomass boiler system that can burn extra waste.
It’s also part of the Mars Recycling Scheme, which means it can call itself a zero-waste company, as nothing goes to landfill and the biomass boiler can heat the entire hotel.