Environmentalists honoured

Southland's environmental champions were honoured at the Southland Environment Awards presented in Invercargill last night.

About 320 people turned out to celebrate the achievements of nominees from all over the region.

The awards are organised by Environment Southland to recognise the work done by people committed to conserving and enhancing the region's natural resources.

The winners were.-School: Fiordland College - project "Kids Restore the Kepler".

Highly commended: Salford School.

Community Group: Oraka-Aparima Runaka - long-running project to restore habitat and return native species to Rarotoka/Centre Island. Highly commended: Dipton Landcare Group, Stewart Island/Rakiura Community and Environment Trust.

Farming: South Coast Dairy Ltd (Chris and Lynsey Stratford) - planning and establishing a dairy farm in a manner that avoids adverse environmental impacts.

Environmental Innovator: Invercargill City Council Parks and Reserves Division - conversion of the plant nursery boiler to run on waste wood.

Commercial: Southern Discoveries Ltd - support of the Sinbad Sanctuary project to restore a sensitive and inaccessible area at the base of Mitre Peak.

Highly commended: Rain Espresso, Rakiura Resource Recovery Centre.

Special Award: Barry Harcourt - raising awareness of environmental and conservation issues through his photographs.

Environmental Achiever: Lindsay Hazley - contribution to the Tuatara captive breeding programme.

Highly commended: Mark Sutton.

Individual Award: Chris and Brian Rance - ongoing contribution to environmental projects, including the Community Nursery, which has inspired several other such nurseries, and their newly-opened wetland and track. Highly commended: Tony and Raewyn van Gool.

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