This year’s Nature Hero Award, proudly sponsored by Glenveagh, has seen over 45,000 children
from over 200 primary schools across 26 counties in Ireland competing to receive a school garden makeover worth €10,000. Coming top of class and winning the gold award was Powerstown Educate Together National School in Tyrrelstown, Dublin.
The Nature Hero Award is Ireland’s first, standalone outdoor learning award. It is a mark of excellence for a school that recognises exceptional work by students and staff to help nature.
The aim of the achievement is to create an educational space that nurtures a love of nature, develops a knowledge of our biodiversity and encourages action to help it locally. It covers many topics such as school gardening, biodiversity conservation, ecological literacy, responsible citizenship as well as physical and mental wellbeing.
Of course the Nature Hero Award is an award of participation, not just competition, so please take a look below at all our amazing schools who achieved Nature Hero status this year.
Speaking about the partnership, Annette McGarry, Community Engagement Manager at Glenveagh
commented, “We’re delighted to see so many schools and children participate in the Nature Hero Awards 2023, which is a key part of our Building Lasting Communities educational programme. Biodiversity plays such an important role in every community and we’re incredibly proud to support such a brilliant initiative - congratulations to all the children at Powerstown ETNS!”.
Speaking on the 2023 programme, Mark Nolan, Director of Biodiversity in School commented:
“We've been amazed by the incredible work undertaken by schools across the country to help their local biodiversity. Congratulations to Powerstown ETNS who have shown superb leadership in outdoor learning and also a massive well done to all the schools who achieved Nature Hero status this year. A special thank you to Glenveagh Homes for their continued support of this great initiative.”
Powerstown ETNS Principal, Helena Trench, shared her excitement about being crowned the overall winner, “It’s incredible to see the pupils all work together over the past year and see how their hard work paid off. The children are beyond excited to have won a garden makeover for the school, and myself and the staff at Powerstown ETNS could not be more proud.”
Nature Hero Award - Class 2023
Gold - Powerstown Educate Together NS, Dublin (Overall National Winner)
Silver - St . Mel's NS, Ardagh, Co. Longford
Bronze - St. Patrick's Primary School, Co. Galway
Timoleague NS, Co. Cork
Castlelyons NS, Co. Cork
St. Brigid's NS, Midleton, Co. Cork
Skibbereen BNS, Co. Cork
Carlow Educate Together NS, Co. Carlow
Queen of the Universe NS, Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow
St Eunan's NS, Raphoe, Co. Donegal
St. Brigid's NS, Stillorgan, Co. Dublin
Inistioge NS, Co. Kilkenny
Croí an Choille Primary School, Croom, Co. Limerick
St. Isidores NS, Boherlahan Co. Tipperary
St. Mary's NS, Raharney, Co. Westmeath
St. Patrick's Loreto Primary School, Bray, Co. Wicklow
Best Overall National Project - Thomond Primary School, Limerick - Snakey River Forest
Best Community Award - St. Isidores NS, Co. Limerick & Timoleague NS, Co. Cork
For more information on the Nature Hero Awards please see here.
Minister Ossian Smyth and SIRO CEO John Keaney along with the team from Gaelscoil Shliabh Rua, SIRO and Biodiversity in Schools at the Pollinator Project 2023 launch.
We here are Biodiversity in Schools are delighted to launch our Pollinator Project 2023 with the generous sponsorship of SIRO. The Pollinator Project is Ireland's largest and longest running pollinator education programme for schools.
The initiative works with schools across Ireland to train young people as pollinator ambassadors and assist in delivering bee-positive actions across the school grounds such as meadow creation and bulb planting.
For 2023, we're delighted to reach even more schools by partnering with SIRO, Ireland’s 100% fibre broadband network, connecting communities across Ireland. Thanks to their support we can offer free pollinator kits and workshops to reach over 3,500 primary school children.
The project was officially launched by Minister of State for Communications and the Circular Economy, Ossian Smyth TD at Gaelscoil Shliabh Rua, Ballyogan, Dublin. The launch was also attended by SIRO CEO John Keaney, Principal of Gaelscoil Shliabh Rua Ruth Mhic Adaim, class teacher Róisín Nic Aonghusa and pupils from the school.
Minister Ossian Smyth commented:
“Young people will be our leaders in restoring nature in Ireland. This project means that students from 100 schools nationwide will work with experts and their teachers and communities to make their schools more pollinator-friendly, planting native species and contributing to a better, more biodiverse future for us all. Well done to SIRO for supporting this important work.”
SIRO CEO John Keaney noted:
“Our hope from this project is to foster young biodiversity champions in communities across Ireland encouraging them to protect and preserve our native habitats and biodiversity. Our sponsorship of this school pollinator project makes a small contribution to this task. We are pleased to be able to contribute to the valuable work which Biodiversity in Schools have been undertaking in this area for the last ten years."
Mark Nolan, Director of Biodiversity in Schools, commented:
“We are pleased to have SIRO onboard as a sponsor for the pollinator project. Increasing young people’s awareness of the important contribution biodiversity makes to our health and wellbeing is critical. It’s also important for Irish companies to be aware of the biodiversity crisis we are experiencing, and to help by joining us to tackle this issue together. This initiative provides the resources needed to empower pupils with the knowledge and skills on how to help save and nurture our environment.”
Students of St. Brigid's NS Community School Garden help launch the Nature Hero Awards.
'Biodiversity in Schools' are tremendously excited to officially launch the Nature Hero Awards - Ireland’s first, standalone outdoor learning award for schools. Proudly supported by Glenveagh, the Nature Hero Award is a mark of excellence for a school that recognises exceptional work by students and staff to help nature.
Upon registration, schools will receive a biodiversity checklist to complete, including everything from practical tasks such as hanging bird nest boxes to ensuring outdoor teaching time each week. Once the checklist has been successfully completed, schools will submit their application to achieve the plaque and certificate. One lucky school, demonstrating exceptional leadership in nature conservation, will win a garden makeover to the value of €10,000, courtesy of the Glenveagh Greencare team.
Speaking about the partnership with Biodiversity in Schools, Glenveagh CEO Stephen Garvey said:
“Here at Glenveagh, we understand the importance of biodiversity and the vital role it plays in local areas. We are always striving to protect and encourage the biodiversity in areas that house Glenveagh developments, and so are incredibly proud to support the Nature Hero Award. We hope that these awards will help to celebrate the already brilliant work that is being carried out in schools across the country and encourage even more young people to foster and protect biodiversity within their local communities.”
Commenting on the initial success of the new initiative, Director of Biodiversity in Schools Mark Nolan said:
"We've been overwhelmed by the response of primary schools across the country. In just a matter of days we exceeded even our own expectations. Every county across Ireland is represented and we are fast approaching our capacity of 200 schools, over 40,000 students. It's so encouraging to see such an appetite for biodiversity action in our schools and we're delighted to be part of empowering that."
Director of Biodiversity in Schools Mark Nolan and Glenveagh Community Engagement Manager Annette McGarry launching the Nature Hero Awards at St. Brigid's NS, Stillorgan, Dublin.
'Biodiversity in Schools' are delighted to announce our partnership with Applegreen on their exciting, new 'BioDive' competition.
Applegreen are offering primary schools throughout Ireland the opportunity to win an amazing €10,000 for the creation of a biodiversity garden at their school - assisted by us. There are also 134 other prizes available including our school workshops and biodiversity resources.
Taking part is going to be really fun - and educational! Claim your beautifully designed classroom nature poster and collect all 120 exciting species stickers from Applegreen stores to be in with a chance of winning.
This is not just a competition but also a wonderful opportunity to build a fantastic classroom resource and learn all about Irish biodiversity. We thoroughly enjoyed designing them for your students and we know they'll love them.
Just 124 primary schools can be chosen to take part and the closing date for registration is February 4th 2022. Full T&Cs are on the Applegreen website here.
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