A HEREFORDSHIRE church has been the first in the county to be awarded a prestigious environmental award.

St. Leonard's Church in Yarpole has won a Silver Eco Church award, for its sustainable environmental work.

The award, run by Christian charity A Rocha UK, works to protect the natural world and encourages communities to think about their use of the environment and develop practical ways to care for people and the planet, both locally and globally.

Since 2006 St Leonard's has undergone work to prove inclusive and sustainable facilities for the whole community.

The church is now the home of a community shop and café and a part-time post office as well as providing exhibition and meeting space for a full programme of events all year round.

Rose Jenkins, PCC secterary, said: “This award is a recognition of the efforts of the whole community. From the group of people who delivered the building project according to environmental principles, to the groups who run the shop, the café and manage the building itself. We include our Fairtrade and local suppliers plus everyone that uses the building alongside the worshipping community in this group."

She added: "This is recognition of the combined effort, vision and support from everyone involved."