A NORTH-EAST retirement village has been rewarded for its efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and protect the environment.

Middleton Hall Retirement Village, in Middleton St George, near Darlington, was presented with a Clean British Energy (CBE) award by Darlington Friends of the Earth.

The award recognises companies who have implemented initiatives to make a positive impact on the environment.

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The village is home to the country’s first carbon neutral retirement properties, which are set around its own wetland area designed to encourage a variety of wildlife.

It also has a group of residents and employees who meet regularly to explore ways to be more environmentally friendly, and runs transport sharing and cycling to work schemes which are rewarded with meal vouchers.

The village’s managing director, Jeremy Walford, said: “I am delighted to accept the Clean British Energy Award from Friends of the Earth as it clearly recognises Middleton Hall’s visions and efforts to develop a sustainable and environmentally conscious company and community.”

He was presented with the award by Friends of the Earth’s Kendra Ullyart and Matthew Snedker.

Mr Snedker said: “This country needs homes that are affordable to heat and light. To find a company that truly values energy efficiency and the need to cut carbon pollution is an inspiration.

“Developers in the region should use these homes as a template of how today’s homes must be built.”

The village is the second business to be presented with a CBE following Acorn Dairy, which installed a wind turbine at its organic dairy farm at Archdeacon Newton, near Darlington.