ENVIRONMENTAL champions still have time to see their efforts honoured after the deadline for entries to this year’s County Durham Environment Awards was extended.

Businesses, volunteers and green projects are being urged to put themselves forward ahead of the new closing date of Friday, August 10.

Chairman of the County Durham Environment Partnership, Oliver Sherratt, said: “The awards are a real opportunity to highlight the excellent environmental work that goes on in our county every year. We’ve have already had many fantastic nominations, but want to make sure that all of those who want to enter this year have the opportunity to do so, so the deadline has been extended.”

Now in their 29th year the awards, which are sponsored by Durham County Council, Durham University, Banks Group, Citrus Group, Lichfields and Durham Wildlife Trust, will see prizes presented for design, environmental guardianship and community spirited work.

The12 categories include: Built environment; Climate change; Community partnership; Craftsmanship; Greener business; Natural environment; Places and spaces; Schools and colleges; and Waste management. There are also awards for Volunteer group of the year, Volunteer of the year and Under 18 volunteer of the year.

It is entrants to the latter three categories that judges particularly want to hear from, with community organisations potentially following in the footsteps of County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service’s Young Firefighters, who won last year.

In 2017 11 young people aged 13 to 17, and their mentors from County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service Durham station took home the prize following work to improve the environment in Sacriston. They weeded, planted and maintained flower beds, picked litter, painted seats and jet washed paths, and their efforts inspired other children in the village start to volunteering and to take on environmental projects.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in November. To nominate an environmental champion, go to www.countydurhampartnership.co.uk/envawards or phone 03000-267-133.