Intelligently Green Awards 2016

by Chris Wilson on June 21, 2016

The second Wychavon Intelligently Green Awards Ceremony took place in front of an audience of 150 in the new auditorium and atrium of Pershore College on Friday 17 June. The actor and comedian Alistair Mc Gown hosted the event, in his usual inimitable way, to the great amusement and pleasure of the audience.

Winners of the 5 specific categories  were:

Individual – Steve Martin Chair TEV







Small Business joint winner – UNIQ Furniture & Pershore Weir Hydro Project

Larger Business and Public Sector – Walsh Mushrooms

Community Group – SeSaME

Schools and College – St Nicholas(School) Federation








Overall winner-SeSaME(Mike Parker-Sedgeberrow)IG-MP-Award-presentation








We have today heard about really smart people and organisations that do not walk away from tough issues, like climate change; wildly fluctuating energy prices; food security; developing local healthy food:  developing sustainable transport solutions…-people who have a purpose beyond themselves-people like, those we have celebrated today.

And many in the Transition movement and beyond who think they can make a real contribution to mitigating or adapting to the impacts of climate change, fluctuating energy prices; scarcity of food and many other environmental, social and economic issues.

We have celebrated many of those who share these values and I am very proud to live in Wychavon where the Council and its officers are taking up the real challenges of being intelligently green and making innovative decisions to that end. More needs be done and I am confident more will be done!

Let’s reflect on a few measures as examples of where we are in moving towards a less carbon intensive region, more responsible for those in fuel poverty and with insecure food sources:

  • 2015 –more than 1700 households with Solar PV
  • from only 3 in 2010
  • 65% of local people growing their own food
  • 200 alternatively fuelled vehicles
  • 4000 fewer homes in fuel poverty But…many more are still in food poverty but it’s a good start.

I want to spend a few moments celebrating a few more intelligently green things going on in Wychavon:

And to thank some of those leading these initiatives..

Did you know there is a lot of geothermal energy in the Vale and adjacent areas?

Well TEV’s Chris Haynes and Chris Brookes of WDC are pioneering a feasibility study of how we might harness this clean energy source as part of a Heat Network –initially in Offenham and then using a significant number of other Heat Clusters across the Vale towards Worcester. What’s not to like about this? They are looking at the possibility of accessing homes and businesses into such heat networks and are exploring access to funding from DECCs Heat Network Investment Fund.

Another pioneer is Lisa Whelan, who has taken a small local food festival to another level this year. VALE FIRST Local Food Festival will be part of the Evesham Festival in Evesham on Saturday the 25 June. I encourage all of you to attend to buy eat and drink some of the finest in the UK-but locally grown food and drink, made here in the Vale! Coupled with this David Haslam has once again produced another batch( our 9th Edition) of updated local food directories –over 5000 to go to local homes, cafes and restaurants around Worcestershire.

Robin Walker who has pioneered the social hub called Imagine in Evesham and who is leading on the green plan for Evesham.

Evesham Vale Growers-Andrew Billie and family who are pioneering a integrated tomato growing/agri business which has sustainability at its heart. As the only tomato producer in the UK with a sizeable outdoor farming operation, EVG are in a unique position to utilise sustainable initiatives to reduce the rising costs of food production and future proofing our business against energy price rises.

Not only do they harvest rainwater to grow their tomatoes in environmentally friendly hydroponic systems, we utilise all our waste to produce energy. The waste from both our growing and packing operations powers an anaerobic digester (AD) that in turn produces digestate and biogas. Carbon dioxide and heat are also generated, both of which are utilised in the greenhouse growing operation. The biogas is sold into the national grid, and digestate is spread on our crops rather than having to use expensive chemical fertilisers. Any vegetable and salad waste with little calorific value for the ADs is fed to our 350 head of Aberdeen Angus beef cattle, which then produce manure that is a good feedstuff for the digester.

In addition to producing energy from waste, they use solar panels on the roof of their packhouse operation to power their packing machines and offices, and have a  huge solar farm generating electricity for the national grid.

So folks a growing crowd of intelligently green activists and organisations who are contributing to a more resilient and sustainable future for this beautiful part of Worcestershire. Let’s all be proud of the winners today and all of those who are making a contribution to Greening the Vale.

David Haslam July 30, 2016 at 12:22 pm

It was a great event, just a pity not more individuals, groups and organisations in Wychavon made nominations. If we are really to save the planet, including limiting flooding in the Vale there is lots more to be done. Start planning now for winning an Intelligently Green Award in 2018! And support Wychavon and its Councillors and staff in their ongoing Intelligently Green Plan.

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