New Eco-Schools fund announced by council
By Sarah Wood
A brand-new fund will give primary school children in the Forest of Dean the chance to learn about the environment and take forward their ideas for how best to protect it.
Launched today (September 11) by Forest of Dean District Council, the fund will cover the £250 registration fee of schools wanting to join the internationally recognised Eco-Schools programme, helping more young people to get involved in exploring environmental topics - such as waste, energy, litter and pollution - and empowering them to make positive changes.
But schools need to act fast, as the fund closes next week (Friday September 22).
Schools that successfully complete the programme can then put themselves forward for Green Flag accreditation in the summer.
Cllr Jackie Fraser, cabinet member for environment at Forest of Dean District Council, said: "We're really excited about offering this new opportunity to our local schools and their students. Young people in particular will be left with the consequences of climate change, biodiversity loss and the pollution of our planet.
"It's important they're involved early on about understanding the impacts, but equally that they are equipped with the skills and knowledge by which they can help change the environment around them for the better.
"Eco-Schools is a well-established programme with a long history of educating pupils about a wide range of environmental issues, giving them the confidence to put forward their suggestions and lead on implementing ideas by working with their classmates and across year groups. Projects could include setting up an eco club, promoting a regular walk to school day or creating a wildlife garden, but ultimately what pupils decide to do is up to them.
"Currently 15 schools in our district have achieved the prestigious Green Flag award, but we would love to see these numbers boosted to accelerate the numbers of children getting involved and schools getting accredited. To help schools participate, we're also offering the support of our council environmental officers, to provide additional mentoring should they need it."
In total, the council plans to cover the registration costs of 10 local schools. Successful schools will also receive an additional £100 each to put towards equipment that will help them achieve the seven steps of the Eco-Schools programme.
The 10 topics covered under the Eco-Schools programme are: waste; litter; marine; global citizenship; biodiversity; energy; healthy living; water; transport; and school grounds.
Administered by the Keep Britain Tidy charity, Eco-Schools is the world's largest schools' environmental programme.
Forest of Dean primary schools wishing to apply for the Eco-Schools fund should contact: email@example.com. The closing date for applications is September 22.
Application for the national Eco-Schools programme opens today (September 11): https://www.eco-schools.org.uk/
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