Wessex Water is in the running to represent the UK at the European business awards for the environment in Brussels next year.

The water company is among the winners in the Green Apple Environment Awards – one of the major international environmental awards schemes and a feeder into the European Awards. It was shortlisted after judges recognised the success of the company’s partners programme which has supported wildlife organisations across its region including Wiltshire, Somerset and Dorset. Since 1998 the initiative has helped to restore rivers, protect species under threat and tackle diffuse pollution as well as funding other conservation projects.

Ruth Barden, of Wessex Water’s environmental regulation team, said everyone was delighted when they heard the company was among those to be shortlisted. She said: “The Partners Programme has been hugely successful and as well as providing financial support it has involved Wessex Water staff working hands on with conservation projects across the region. “This has ranged from restoring sections of the River Avon in Wiltshire to its natural shape allowing fish populations to grow, to encouraging farmers to put up nest boxes to increase tree sparrow numbers. “Many of the environmental projects have been welcomed by local communities and would have struggled to get off the ground if it wasn’t for the support from Wessex Water.”

The Green Apple Awards, which are now in their 16th year, attracted more than 500 nominations this year.  They are organised by The Green Organisation, an environmental group dedicated to recognising, rewarding and promoting environmental best practice around the world.  Wessex Water will be presented with its Green Apple Award at the Tower of London in June when it will also find out if it has secured the top award.