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Lead the WWF Earth Hour switch off and win pounds 1,000; COMMUNITY GROUPS ARE URGED TO SHOW SUPPORT.

Byline: SALLY WILLIAMS

CARDIFF Blues players joined community allotment holders to encourage community groups around Wales to enter WWF Cymru's competition for Earth Hour 2012.

They joined members of the Riverside Community Allotment Project in Cardiff ahead of the team's Heineken Cup clash against London Irish last Saturday, to invite communities to enter the competition to have a chance to lead the switch-off right across the UK and win pounds 1,000 in prize money.

Every year, famous landmarks join businesses, communities and homes across the country as they switch off to mark WWF's Earth Hour. This year the date is set for March 31 at 8.30pm One community - a school, workplace, street, village, pub or club - will lead the Welsh WWF Earth Hour switch off and landmarks like the Millennium Stadium and the Senedd in Cardiff and Caernarfon Castle are expected to follow.

Deiniol Jones, from Cardiff Blues, said: "In Wales we're known for our strong sense of community through local groups like sports clubs, schools, pubs, or community allotments.

"I'm sure that community groups in Wales will come up with great entries in this competition and be in the running to lead the big switch off right across the UK.

"The Blues are right behind WWF's Earth Hour and we'll be switching off the lights at Cardiff City Stadium on the night."

Anne Meikle, head of WWF Cymru, said: "WWF's Earth Hour has become a powerful symbol around the world which shows how much we care about our planet.

"We know that community groups in Wales are taking positive action for the environment and this year we want to celebrate that by finding a champion community to lead the switch off.

"We want entries not just from 'green' groups, but also any groups that are striving to be more environmentally friendly and have a great idea for marking Earth Hour 2012."

Jenny Howell, fieldworker at the Riverside Community Allotment said: "We're pleased to help launch this brilliant competition and hope community groups across Wales take this opportunity to lead WWF's Earth Hour switch off.

"Earth Hour is a chance to have fun on the night and get involved in sending a strong message that we care about the environment. It's also about people trying to live more sustainably in their everyday lives, as we do here at the community allotment."

To be in the running, groups need to explain why they are the obvious choice to become WWF's Champion Community for 2012.

The winning group will receive pounds 1,000 from WWF's Official Partner MORE TH>N. There is also a pounds 300 grant available for a national winner in Wales to lead the Welsh switch off.

Groups simply need to describe, in no more than 300 words, why their community should lead the switch off.

WWF wants to hear about the sustainable things the community does, or will do after Earth Hour and to know how they plan to bring the community together for a night to remember for Earth Hour. They can even include an image and video to support your entry and bring it to life.

Last year hundreds of millions of people and landmarks from Big Ben and Buckingham Palace in London to the India Gate in New Delhi, and even as far as The Sydney Opera House, took part.

CAPTION(S):

* Cardiff Blues players Andries Pretorius and Dafydd Hewitt join Pippa the Panda to get stuck in at Riverside Community Allotment in Cardiff to launch WWF's Earth Hour community competition
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 17, 2012
Words:588
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