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The Castle Environmental Awards began in 2009. When the government reduced the VAT rate, we ring-fenced the additional £29,000 profit from our visit and membership fees into a special fund. Castle staff and customers were invited to apply for up to £6000 for each project that would promote sustainability in some way . The winning projects included: a new office for Magnificent Revolution built out of a retired shipping container, an internship with Greenpeace (which resulted in the candidate getting a full-time job), solar panels for an organic farm in India, supplies and training for beekeeping in North Wales, an information sign for Growing Communities and funding for a community health post in Ghap, Nepal.
Inspired by Patagonia's employee grant scheme, we decided to set up our own Castle Staff Eco-grant Scheme. Castle staff may apply for up to £1200 stipend to fund them while they work on an environmental project. Applications are judged by a panel of peers and we give out up to 4 grants each year.
James Turner – Feedback, Gleaning Network campaign. UK & France.
Volunteer position at Gleaning Network, liaising with farmers in order to collect surplus food from farms and redistribute to charities.
Christina Baldwin – photography personal project, UK.
Christina proposed to research and document the water supply chain within UK context, producing ‘Action postcards’ that will aim to increase the understanding of the impact individuals & communities have upon their water consumption.
Miriam Willis - Raleigh International, Tanzania.
A placement as Environmental Project Manager in Tanzania, for Raleigh, an organization with emphasis on renewable resources and sustainable solutions in rural areas. Miriam worked closely with local communities to build elephant deterring fences that protected the farmers land from the migration route of the National Parks elephants, as well as coordinating the introduction of rocket stoves into communities.
Kerry Simmonds – Ecodgarma Centre and Beneficio Community, Spain.
Kerry took up a volunteer placement at a sustainable education centre expanding their permaculture designed gardens as well as infrastructure, followed by a second placement at an eco-village, volunteering and assisting in building a straw-bale school.
Edd Colbert – Feedback, U.K.
Ed worked in a volunteer role as Campaign Manager for Feedback; an environmental charity campaigning against food waste.
Ida Fabrizio – The Olive Branch, Spain.
Spending the winter at a climber’s accommodation in El Chorro, South of Spain, Ida established a low impact, organic, commercial garden to provide food for the accommodation and for sale to visitors. The aim was to set up a growing system that would reduce food waste and that could be maintained by local growers using low impact practices. Ida made links with local producers, instructing them in low impact growing practices and coordinating the use of local olive oil to make and sell products.
Rosa Gonzalez – Article 25, U.K.
A placement working as an Architect for an NGO (Article 25) team of construction professionals designing schools using sustainable techniques for construction in earthquake affected sites in Haiti.
Jack Pardoe and Zoltan Majoros - Castle 2 Castle
Cycling 1200 miles from London to Budapest to examine whether cycling as a means of long distance travel is really feasible in modern Europe and, if so, how easily and comfortably can it be done. They aim to demonstrate the physical, mental, cultural and environmental benefits of green & sustainable travel over other travel forms.
Jack Cox – Organic Lea Co-operative, U.K.
A placement working with Organic Lea food growers co-operative in Chingford creating and developing productive growing sites for edible funghi.
Johanna Wadsley – Hugging the Coast, New Zeland.
A post-doctoral social science expedition (by sea-kayak) to observe, document and publicise the impact of industrial demand for seaweed (used in health food & pharmaceuticals production) on the marine environment and socio-economic conditions of the Sangihe Archipelago, Indonesia.
Nick Quinn – North Down Orchard, U.K.
WOOF’ing at North Down Orchard (Basingstoke) to learn key aspects of winter organic growing for large scale organic ‘box scheme’ fruit & vegetable production.
Miriam Willis – Hillyfield Farm Development
A placement offering administrative restructuring and support in fundraising and volunteer resourcing for a forest conservation site on the southern edge of Dartmoor.
Caroline Talbot – Green Alliance
An internship with an environmental think tank dedicated to ensuring that UK political leaders deliver ambitious solutions to global environmental issues.
You can read more about our successful applicants in our sustainability blog.