Art inspires clean up and nets award

HUNTINGDON-based Anglian Water has won a fifth award for its campaign aimed at tidying up eastern England s waterways and river banks. The latest accolade came in Berlin, when the company s Shopping Trolley Art picked up a Europe-wide award in the Ecolo

HUNTINGDON-based Anglian Water has won a fifth award for its campaign aimed at tidying up eastern England's waterways and river banks.

The latest accolade came in Berlin, when the company's "Shopping Trolley Art" picked up a Europe-wide award in the Ecology and Environment category of the European Excellence Awards, organised by Communication Director magazine.

"This is the most prestigious award so far, said the company's media manager Dan Baker. "But the most important thing is that it is prompting groups of members of the public, including one at Alconbury Brook, to adopt a stretch of waterway and keep it tidy, carrying out tasks such as litter picking and wildlife surveys."

The RiverCare project provides the equipment, insurance and expertise to enable volunteers to make a real difference to their local environment.


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At the European Excellence Awards, the Shopping Trolley Art campaign was vying for attention alongside some major multi-national organisations, with the winners in other categories including Coca-Cola, Shell, the Football Association, Burger King, Puma and MasterCard.

The sculptures, created by Brighton artist Ptolemy Elrington, are made from discarded shopping trolleys recovered from the region's rivers.

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"We've won a clutch of awards and this latest one is a great accolade which we're enormously proud of - but to have used art to persuade people to get out there and make a difference to the green corridors that run through so many towns and cities and are often ignored and neglected, that's a real achievement," Mr Baker added.

It was the project's second award in a month, having also taken gold in the corporate communications category of the Charter Institute of Public Relations East Anglia New PRide Awards.

Ironically, although Anglian Water is responsible for returning treated sewage to the region's rivers, it is not responsible for them. The Environment Agency looks after the rivers and local authorities are generally responsible for the banks.

"River water quality is better than it has been for decades," Mr Baker said. "That's why we are seeing birds such as kingfishers back in the environment. It's also why it's such a shame to see rivers blighted by shopping trolleys. It's not really our responsibility, but it's something we feel we ought to do.

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