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Schools celebrate green credentials

Schools have been celebrating their tremendous efforts in reducing energy and becoming more sustainable, at an event organised by Herefordshire Council this month.

Eardisley, Ewyas Harold, Garway, Ledbury, Madley, Marlbrook, St James’ Kimbolton, Orleton and Whitchurch primaries, Aylestone Business and Enterprise College, Bishop of Hereford’s Bluecoat School and Fairfield High School have been working with the council and the Carbon Trust on a pilot programme to reduce carbon emissions. 

These schools have been enjoying the benefits of reducing their energy usage with lower energy costs and increased resilience against rising fuel costs and possible fuel shortages.

A steering group of pupils from each school has led a programme in their school that involved meter reading, energy audits, workshops, posters, leaflet and sticker competitions and delivering assemblies.

Schools were amazed at how much energy they use overnight when they’re closed and how behaviour change alone can lead to up to a 20 percent  reduction in energy use.

Councillor Russell B. Hamilton, cabinet member for housing and planning presented the schools with certificates at the event.  He said: "I enjoyed talking to the children and their teachers about their work to reduce energy usage, their level of knowledge was clearly very good. Their enthusiasm shone through during the ceremony and it was an absolute pleasure to be able to present these awards to schools from all over the county.

"I believe that it is absolutely critical to get young people involved in this subject as it is important for everyone’s future. Today’s celebration indicates that our schools, with the support of Herefordshire Council, are well on the way to achieving this.  I also suspect that quite a few mums and dads throughout Herefordshire have been taught a few lessons by this very well informed and motivated group of children”.

Herefordshire Council is a pioneer in working towards sustainable working practices and through working with schools the authority is actively demonstrating community leadership and a commitment to becoming a low carbon county.

Other schools were also at the event to receive their prestigious ‘Green Flag’ award as part of the Eco-Schools programme, which rewards schools that reduce their impact on the environment. During this academic year Marden, Garway, Peterchurch, Staunton-on-Wye, Madley, Shobdon, Cradley and Kimbolton primary schools received their Green Flag certificates.

Schools in Herefordshire account for 34 percent of Herefordshire Councils’ carbon emissions.  As a result, the council is committed to working with schools to help them become more aware of energy issues.