- Primary Education
- Secondary Education
- Higher/Further Education
- Community / Faith Groups
- Individual & Household Action
WINNER: At Adisham C of E Primary School, we are promoting the children’s wellbeing through the use of the garden spaces in the school. We use gardening to support our wellbeing and we are learning new gardening skills. We all contribute to our gardening plans, which include repurposing an unused space as an area for the school community. We have added a wildlife pond and created bird feeders.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Here at Reculver Primary School we have been proactively working hard to increase the biodiversity at school and the children’s curiosity in nature. Early years take part in Forest School on a weekly basis identifying the species around them and gaining a stronger sense of self. Our Forest School club have been really reflecting on how the natural elements really help with their well-being.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: At St Peter’s Methodist Church Primary School, we encourage all the children and families to take part in nature’s life. Every week children at our school are taking part in forest school sessions where we learn about looking after our environment, how to respect wild life and we also learn many other skills including problem solving. We have been encouraging our children to be mindful of their surroundings and respect/appreciate where we get our food etc., and they have also been growing plants and vegetables.
WINNER: Students, staff and parents have created a small nature reserve within the grounds of Simon Langton Girls’ School where we have created a range of habitats, increased biodiversity and improved accessibility for students to allow them to interact with nature as an important part of their school experience.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: As a school this year we, St Anselm’s Secondary School, planted over 1000 trees on our school site in our efforts to mitigate C02 in our atmosphere as well as promote biodiversity. The school have also set up a forest school to help students become aware of the biodiversity of our site as well as teach young people about the importance of sustainability, resilience, and team building.
WINNER: The Sustainability Working Group (SWG) at the University of Kent is a student and staff led working group that is actively working to improve Sustainability at the University of Kent. The group formed in 2019 and led to the School of Anthropology and Conservation declaring a climate and ecological emergency. Originally an internal working group for the School, the SWG now has student members from across the University and delivers projects University wide.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Canterbury Christ Church University has been a leader in the development of Sustainability since 2010, being one of the only Universities to create a specific University-wide role & team to drive forward the full spectrum of Sustainability throughout and beyond the University. Through the work of the Academy for Sustainable Futures and the implementation of our Response to the Climate Emergency we are committing to make a significant and long-lasting contribution to local and regional society.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: The University of Kent Biosciences Project highlights the relationship between sustainability and Natural Sciences. The project’s methodology is not only replicable but holds the potential to be transformative for other academic divisions. This project exemplifies how changes to the curriculum and to classroom structure could be valid methods of delivering sustainable development especially to students.
WINNER: Catherine Parker set up The Refillery as an attractive, accessible way to encourage Canterbury residents to “Rethink Plastic”: to make changes to shopping decisions and habits, to appreciate and adopt Circular Economy principles, and to demonstrate there is consumer demand for systemic change.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Canterbury Lush have been advocates for climate change and this has been proved by a number of campaigns and initiatives which have been conducted in our store. In addition to the campaigns, we run an environmental workshop where we showcase how our plastics are made and why they are done like this, as well as making a big blue bath bomb pictured below!
HIGHLY COMMENDED: As part of the Whiskey and beer making process The Foundry produces waste spent grain. This at present goes to a local farm for cattle feed. We also produce waste water, CO2 and heat. We are in the process of proving that we can grow luxury mushrooms from this waste.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Pilgrims Hospices STORE5O was opened in August 2022 to raise funds for the Hospices, but with a focus on sustainable fashion. The ethos of the shop is to be as near to carbon neutrality as possible. Since opening we have sold over 31,000 garments which saves at least 90,000kg of CO2.
Community / Faith Groups
WINNER: Stream Walk Community Garden is a thriving, community growing space in central Whitstable. Maintained largely by volunteers, we operate on organic, no-dig principles. Low-carbon horticulture and restoring biodiversity are central to our ambition to reach as many community members as possible, thus promoting wellbeing of people and planet through gardening.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: At Canterbury Cathedral Gardens we recognise the importance of tackling the climate and biodiversity crisis we are all facing. We have been creating multiple new habitats across the precincts. From the new dry garden to long grass, hedgerows, dead hedges and log piles, we are trying to provide homes for the widest range of wildlife possible to ensure people can enjoy the grounds and gardens long into the future.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Since reopening Monkton Nature Reserve following the pandemic lockdowns, we have successfully rebuilt our operations, largely through the efforts of a team of 50 mainly local volunteers (with over 9,500 hours logged to date this year), supported by a small staff and our Trustees.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: The Green Team has been doing formidable work in Canterbury over the last 9 years, including the very successful student recycling scheme. They work with the students and university to offer a pickup service to take their unwanted items, check them, fix and store and then selling them to new students in September at affordable prices. They also set up a community permaculture garden in Canterbury.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: We at the Franciscan Gardens are striving to promote a biodiverse, climate-resilient future, through our sustainable, low-carbon gardening practices, and our education of the public. This year our initiative was to inspire visitors to cherish and preserve biodiversity in their own gardens, through educational tours and advice for home gardeners.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: The Wild About Whitstable annual environmental week is a local response to a global devastating breakdown in the planet’s ecosystems caused and accelerated by human activity. Wild About Whitstable strives to continue in partnership with community groups, businesses and the local Council in order that together we address ecological breakdown through ‘thinking globally and acting locally.’ (Patrick Geddes)
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Wildwood Work on many groundbreaking conservation projects, and the focus of this application is on our red-billed chough reintroduction. Despite once being a common sight on the coasts of Kent and across England, Chough populations have plummeted to only 23 breeding pairs left living wild in England today, and completely vanished from Kent over 200 years ago. Alongside Kent Wildlife Trust, we released the first cohort of chough this year, with eight birds now flying free over Dover.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: At Pilgrims Way Allotment Association site we have replaced our unpleasant chemical toilets with new innovative composting toilets. Through the process of aerobic digestion, human waste decomposes into fertilising compost. The toilets are almost maintenance free, and our carbon footprint has been greatly reduced. They have also generated interest amongst members and also improved their understanding that everyone can do something towards the climate change situation.
WINNER AND 2023 OVERALL WINNER: The Barham Downs Farmer Group & Hearts Delight Farm represents a long-term collaboration/ partnership between Natural England and over 30 farms within the Barham Downs area where the main focus has been on the restoration of farmland habitats and wildlife. The central theme of the work involves the creation of a new generation of wildflower rich meadows and grasslands in order to deliver nature recovery at scale across the Barham Downs area.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Since its launch in 2014 the bOing festival (bOing festival – Institute of Cultural and Creative Industries – University of Kent) has developed into one of Europe’s leading family arts festivals attracting over 12,000 family visitors in 2023. Taking place over the 2 days of the August bank holiday, it raises awareness of climate and ecological challenges, engaging the public, and in particular young people, in sustainability and in promoting sustainable behaviours to visitors to the festival.
Individual & Household Action
WINNER: Helen Smith is totally committed to supporting Climate Action and Biodiversity through the various organisations with which she works and is involved with. These include Transition Town Whitstable, Future Food Forests, Abbots Mill Community Peace Gardens, Natural Whitstable and CT5 People’s Eco Forum Group. She is a member of CCAP and the Canterbury Biodiversity Network.
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Since moving to Whitstable, in Spring 2022, my (David Golding) overriding concern has been to encourage churches, locally and nationally, to play their full part in the great endeavour to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis. I have made a significant contribution to this end by the publication of major, strongly worded articles published in the Christian Press, which will have reached many thousands of church leaders.