Eco awards for local schools

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Two local schools have been recognised for a leading role in energy saving work at this year’s SSE Airtricity and Eco-Schools Global Wind Awards.

McKinney Primary in Dundrod achieved third place in the Eco-Committee of the Year Primary Award.

The award was in recognition of the special role of the Eco-Committee in helping drive the Eco-Schools programme within the school.

McKinney, proud recipient of four Green Flags, was noted to be outstanding in the amount of environmental projects it is involved in and the strength of its actions both in school and the community.

Hillsborough’s Beechlawn School, meanwhile, won third place in Operation Energy Project of the Year Post-Primary.

The award recognised the special efforts made by the school in looking for solutions to help all staff and pupils to be energy conscious in school and at home while studying the Eco-Schools Energy topic.

The day itself saw pupils and guests take a specially guided tour of SSE Airtricity’s 76MW Slieve Kirk Wind Park, and experience the power of wind up close, even going inside the turbines.

Pupils received their awards from Mark H Durkan, Minister for the Environment, who said: “These awards are an important and fitting recognition of the efforts of our young people, teachers and also their wider families in looking after our environment and saving energy.

“Whenever I visit Eco-Schools I see the passion, pride and potential of the people who will be the next generation of leaders and workers in all walks of life.

“I take great pride in being here today to recognise these achievements.

“All entrants should be very proud of your work.

“Seeing the energy and enthusiasm displayed by all of you, and the other Eco-Schools, gives me tremendous hope for the future of our environment.”