DUDLEY'S caverns and canals are one of the borough's hidden treasures.

But if British Rail had their way back in the 1960's this renown cultural and visitor attraction wouldn't exist.

It was an intrepid group of youngsters that kept the attraction alive and now their legacy continues thanks to the Dudley Canal and Tunnels Trust.

CEO Traci Dix-Williams describes the attraction as an amazing and special place but admitted: "The Trust has faced its most challenging time following Covid and the economic recession and it's been down to the staff, volunteers and supporters all pulling together which has kept us going.

"We've been operating as a visitor and cultural attraction for over 60 years but we're not complacent in our efforts - we keep moving forward and improving while making sure our message is still relevant today.”

Dudley News: Trust CEO Traci Dix-WilliamsTrust CEO Traci Dix-Williams

MERISTEM Design have been on an environmental mission to turn unloved areas into green and inviting spaces.

Having completed the Parklet Project in March 2022, Meristem have been making their presence felt.

Katalin Pal from Meristem Design said: "We are a socially and environmentally focused company who turn unloved spaces into a greener, sustainable and inclusive public space for everyone to enjoy.

"Our mission appears to have struck a chord with people and we are truly honoured and excited to be considered for this prestigious award.

Meristem Design is a community driven project and Katalin Pal added: "This acknowledgement helps recognise our commitment to sustainability and community engagement.”

Dudley News: Meristem Design director Habib KhanMeristem Design director Habib Khan

IT'S no surprise that Sally Philpotts finds herself nominated in two different categories.

In addition to her fundraising, Sally is also a champion for the environment and has always been interested in ways of reducing plastic waste.

She hit upon the idea of recycling plastic as a means to making money for Mary Stevens Hospice.

The idea simply took off and Recycling for Mary Stevens Hospice was created.

Sally's mum-in-law Diane said: "People would bring plastic items round to the house at all times of day - and the night.”

As a result, monthly collections were created and Diane added: "There were boxes and boxes positioned on the drive with all different streams of plastic waste which were then sent to TerraCycle.”

Over the past couple of years, the plastic waste collections have raised more than £5,000.

Sally is now looking at ways of reusing candle wax as another form of fundraising for the Hospice.

Dudley News: Sally PhilpottsSally Philpotts