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Eight green awards handed out

A MAJOR historic refurbishment, a local radio programme, a youth club, a remote isle ranger service, two primary schools, a local harbour and a man who clears litter from his local beach have all been recognised in the 2010 Shetland Environmental Awards.

Eight awards were presented by Shetland Amenity Trust chairman Brian Gregson for a wide range of activities across the isles.

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The Belmont Trust’s £1.2 million project to restore Belmost House, on Unst, received their award for the way they transformed the northern isles’ finest example of a Georgian house from a derelict building into holiday accommodation and a venue for meetings, weddings and local events.

Mike Grundon of BBC Radio Shetland and his co presenter Val Turner received an award for their popular environmental programme Beyond the Briggistanes.

Brae Youth Club earned their award for transforming a piece of unused land at the back of their youth centre into a garden.

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The Foula Heritage Ranger Service created stone seating for people taking in the dramatic island, basing them on traditional stone rests once used by islanders pushing barrows or carrying kishies of peats to stop and rest for a while.

Lerwick Port Authority achieved the internationally recognised environmental standard ISO 14001:2004, and has managed a 26 per cent decrease in electricity consumption at their operations centre, an eight per cent increase in fuel efficiency, cleared 32 tonnes of waste from the harbour seabed and saved over 31,000 sheets of A4 paper. 

Parents, staff and pupils at Ollaberry primary school redesigned their school garden and grounds to make it more attractive for birds, animals and people, introducing a sloped path for disabled access, a solar fountain and wind powered ornaments, using local and recycled materials.

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Peter Kenny was nominated by fellow Gulberwick residents for his efforts over the years to keep the local beach clear of the large quantities of marine litter it collects all the time.

And Uyeasound primary school, currently facing the threat of closure, has worked with Scotland’s Rural Past and museums to carry out a mapping project of the built heritage on the island of Unst.

One of the houses surveyed was Valind, the family home of Captain John Gray of the SS Great Britain, which resulted in partnerships with the Shetland Museum and Archives and SS Great Britain Museum.

The awards were sponsored by Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Scottish Natural Heritage, Shetland Islands Council, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Shetland Civic Society, VisitShetland and Shetland Amenity Trust.

The energy companies behind the Total Laggan-Tormore Project sponsored the awards ceremony at the museum and archives and have committed to do so until 2014.

The eight winning projects were presented with a personalised framed certificate made in Shetland by Frank Brown, who made the frames from an elm tree washed up on a beach at Sumburgh over 10 years ago.

Mr Gregson said: “The award winners have again shown an outstanding commitment to our environment – an environment we all cherish and wish to preserve for the future.”

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