Fine buildings sport green awards

Buildings from the 1800s to the 21st Century were recognised yesterday in an environment awards scheme.

Buildings from the 1800s to the 21st Century were recognised yesterday in an environment awards scheme.

A total of 24 projects from schools, individuals, companies and organisations were winners in the County Durham Environment Awards.

The Rivergreen Centre at Aykley Heads in Durham City scooped yet another award - the overall "exemplary" accolade for displaying an outstanding contribution across a range of categories in the Durham County Council-run scheme.

The new serviced office and conference centre was built to minimise its impact not only on its immediate surroundings but also on the wider environment.

A former Wesleyan Chapel, built in the 1880s, received an award for its restoration.

In the last five years, the chapel, in Chester-le-Street, has had all 54 windows replaced, others unblocked and new windows - many of them stained glass - installed.

Another winner relied on international links for its success in rekindling lost lime-making skills and creating jobs.

In May last year, nine people from Romania came to Durham for 12 days to take part in a project which included constructing and firing a temporary Romanian lime kiln at Levy Pool, Bowes, and the restoration and firing of a lime kiln at Cowshill, Weardale.

Other winners were: Rejuvenation of Durham Road, Chilton; the Georgian North project to restore the landscape and steam wagonway at Pockerley Manor, Beamish Museum; Crowtrees Heritage Trails, Quarrington Hill; restoration of Southfield Surface Mine at Royal Oak; Smiles of Friendship safe haven garden at St Charles RCVA School, Spennymoor; Newker Naturally garden , Newker Primary School, Chester-le-Street.

The first winners of the new Durham County Council Access+Awards, organised by the county council's equality and diversity team and Local Action 21 with support from the North East Access Association to ensure access for all, are Peterlee Leisure Centre, Our Lady Immaculate and St Cuthbert's Roman Catholic Church, Crook and Walking with Wheels by Wear Valley Disability Access Forum.

The Rivergreen Centre is in the final round of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors Awards in October.

Others shortlisted in the national awards were Newcastle University's Culture Lab, St Martin's Centre in Byker, and Horton Park, Blagdon.

First winners of a new environmental award have also been announced by South Tyneside Council.

The residents of Falstone Avenue in South Shields have won with the Green Street Award for recycling.

Winners will have a Green Street Award sign attached next to the formal street sign at the entrances to their road.

Meanwhile, Beamish and Tyne & Wear Museums have made the shortlist for the 2007 Conservation Awards, with their Joint Store in the Regional Resource Centre at Beamish.

The store houses some of the collections from museums in optimum conditions.

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