BIRMINGHAM-BORN former music teacher Mark Woodward really is living the good life. After scooping the award for Design and Build, and receiving commendations in two other categories of the Environment Awards, the founder of Green Directions was recognised for pioneering all things environmentally-friendly.
In less than a decade, his passion for all things green has seen him complete the mammoth task of transforming a crumbling old dairy farm in Stannington, Sheffield into an eco-sound home and business base. The father-of-four provides green conference facilities for businesses, educational visits for schoolchildren and students on climate change and green technology from Green Directions. It is also a small-scale food producer.
More recently, Mark launched Green Weddings and other new strings to its bow include hand-made chocolates and Continental-style charcuterie.
He said: “It is not only about enhancing our conferences and events, but also about the experience of producing your own food.
“My partner Sarah is very strong on the food front. We make as much as we can and we aim to give people a flavour of what food you can produce yourself.
“With Green Weddings, we produce all of the electricity to power them ourselves and encourage people to use local suppliers. There are some really good food businesses in Sheffield. It’s a variety of factors which make weddings a greener experience.”
Awards host Clare Frisby commended Green Directions for promoting other local business in its latest venture.
Also shortlisted in the category was South Yorkshire Energy Centre, which is based in an eco-refurbished terraced house built in the 19th century. The centre demonstrates renewable energy and sustainable building materials and techniques and provides advice, training and awareness for everyone from building professionals, to individual householders and school parties.