News story: Ministry of Defence awards celebrate commitment to the environment

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The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), part of the MOD, manages the defence estate and supports armed forces throughout the UK and abroad to live, work and train. The 27th annual Sanctuary Awards, held today (22 November 2017) in London, showcased the achievements of teams and individuals working to preserve and protect the defence estate, both at home and abroad.

Winners and runners up were selected from 5 categories and 2 overall winners were chosen to receive the Silver Otter trophy or the Sustainable Business Award.

This year’s winner of the coveted Silver Otter trophy is archaeologist Roy Canham MBE. Roy won the Individual Achievement Award for his 40 years of work to survey and safeguard the over 2,200 historical sites across Salisbury Plain. From the 1970s, he worked with the then newly formed Imber Conservation Group to create a record of the many important archaeological sites on the plain. Roy also led work with the MOD, English Heritage and Wiltshire Council on designing measures to protect this historic landscape while also ensuring that the area could continue to be used by the armed forces for training.

The Sustainable Business Award was won by Army Basing Programme Salisbury Plain for their work to rebase service personnel and their families from Germany and re-role units within the UK by 2020. The scale of ABP’s Salisbury Plain programme is unprecedented with an investment of over £1.3 billion, delivering 1,339 service family accommodation (SFA), 2,600 single living accommodation (SLA) units and extensive technical facilities.

This year’s awards have an international feel with winners and runners up representing areas of the military training estate from all over Great Britain and the world. Winners and runners up are:

Individual Achievement Award

  • Winner and Silver Otter Winner: Roy Canham MBE, Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire
  • Runner up: LCpl Sheona Macmillan, Project (ANEMOI), Falklands
Heritage Project Award

  • Winner: Ballykinler WWI Practice Trenches, Ballykinler, Northern Ireland
  • Runner up: Ancient Akrotiri Project, Dreamer’s Bay, Cyprus
Sustainability Project Award

  • Winner: Army Basing Programme, Salisbury Plain
  • Runner up: Typhoon Propulsion Support Facility, RAF Lossiemouth, Scotland
Environmental Project Award

  • Winner: 25 years of Foxglove Covert Nature Reserve, Catterick Garrison
  • Runner up: Longmoor Conservation Group Natterjack Toad Project, Home Counties
Utilities Project

  • Winner: Maximising MOD Energy Efficient Behaviours - A Partnership Project

The awards were presented by DIO Chief Executive Graham Dalton and Julie Taylor MOD Director General Head Office and Commissioning Services.

Julie Taylor said:


I am pleased to present the Sanctuary Awards this year. It is important that we recognise our staff, partners and volunteers throughout the defence community who play such a vital role in helping us to promote sustainability and preserve the MOD estate. There was a fantastic variety of projects which showcased a great deal of innovation, creativity and community spirit. Congratulations to each of the winners and the runners up.

Graham Dalton commented:


DIO takes its role in maintaining the defence estate on behalf of the MOD very seriously and it is encouraging to see so many others working with us and playing such an active part. There were many worthy winners and nominees and you should all be very proud of your achievements. Thank you to all of you for your support and your hard work.

This year’s Sanctuary magazine was also launched at the awards ceremony. Published annually, the magazine demonstrates how the MOD is showcasing sustainability and protecting and maintaining the defence estate throughout the UK and overseas. You can access Sanctuary Magazine online.

You can also read blogs from each of the winners on the Inside DIO blog

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