Pupils awarded for eco efforts
Students from Wallace High, Parkview and Beechlawn were honoured with an Ulster Wildlife Grassroots Challenge Award for their efforts improving their local environment.
Wallace High School scooped the Best Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for transforming litter and recycling practices at the school.
Neil Armstrong, Duke of Edinburgh Award teacher at Wallace High School, who received the award, said: “It is a great honour and privilege to be the recipient of another fabulous award from Ulster Wildlife.
“We are very pleased that our projects on environmental awareness have helped change the behaviour of our fellow students to become more aware of their own personal impact on the environment.
“We are also delighted that this has also shaped how our school deals with its own refuse and thereby has created a more lasting impact on recycling with our school.”
Parkview and Beechlawn Schools were awarded with the Best Special School Activity for their enthusiasm in taking part in environmental educational workshops, covering everything from birds and butterflies to bugs, and creating refuges for wildlife in their school grounds. Carson Rodgers from Beechlawn also picked up a special award for his personal development throughout the programme.
Steve Clarke, Teacher at Beechlawn Special School, said: “We have been working alongside Ulster Wildlife since 2016 and have established wildlife refuges, including bat boxes, bird nesting boxes and mini-beast hotels in our own grounds. More recently, with the valuable grants through the Grassroots Challenge programme, we have successfully established a wildflower garden of our own and are planning to establish large planters in our ‘hard play’ areas. These activities have enhanced my pupils’ learning and understanding of conservation, wildlife and teamwork. Also working outdoors and connecting with nature has aided their well-being.”