2023 Winners of our ‘Green BEE’ Competition
- Company News
We are pleased to announce the two winners of our recent Green BEE competition, William Gilpin School in Boldre, and Hounsdown School in Totton. Run in partnership with the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, the two schools have each been awarded £1,000 to create their environmental proposals submitted as part of the competition, to enhance their schools.
The competition, aimed at promoting sustainability and environmental consciousness among local children, received outstanding proposals from the seven participating schools.
The winning projects captivated the judges with their innovative and eco-conscious designs. William Gilpin School's project, the 'Chill Zone,' emerged as the primary school category winner. The 'Chill Zone' will provide a tranquil outdoor space where young pupils can unwind and connect with nature. In addition, it will serve as a sanctuary for local bugs, hedgehogs, and birds, creating a unique new ecosystem within the school grounds.
The secondary school category winner, Hounsdown School, secured victory with their 'School Garden' project. This initiative aims to enhance biodiversity on school grounds by introducing new habitats for local wildlife and planting 30 trees, donated by the Woodland Trust.
Entries were assessed by Rob Flower, Managing Director of New Milton Sand and Ballast, and a panel of judges – including Cllr Fran Carpenter from Hampshire County Council, Gill Perkins, CEO of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Bob Lord, Chairman of Friends of Ballard Water meadow, Craig Whitelock, Engagement Officer at Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and previous Green BEE winner Alice Gardiner, Deputy Head of Humanities at The Arnewood School. The judges marked project proposals against five key criteria: evidence of research and exploration, a strong message and aims, the benefits of the proposal, innovation and creativity, and workability and aftercare plans.
As a testament to their exceptional efforts, the five runner-up schools all received £250 each to help fund their project proposals. These included:
- Milford School: Creating a quiet zone with sensory planting and a bird hide for reading.
- Sopley Primary School: Transforming an overgrown area behind the school playing field into an outdoor forest school area, named ‘the Secret Garden’.
- Christ the King College: Establishing a sustainable quiet zone near the bus pick-up area for the benefit of all students.
- Lymington Junior School: Creating a butterfly garden after conducting an in-depth project on butterflies.
- The Arnewood School: Developing a peaceful space to observe wildlife, utilising natural areas to attract birds, butterflies, and pond life.
Rob Flower, Managing Director of New Milton Sand and Ballast, comments: "We were delighted to receive so many fantastic proposals from schools across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Our team were truly impressed by the dedication and ingenuity displayed by all the participating schools, and we are proud to be supporting these initiatives. It is incredibly inspiring to see the younger generation taking steps towards creating a sustainable future for our local community.”
Craig Whitelock, Engagement Officer, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, comments: “Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust were honoured to be involved in this year’s Green Bee competition and I was inspired by the ideas the pupils put forward. There were so many innovative and creative ideas with a clear focus on wildlife conservation and the environment. We look forward in supporting all the winning and runner up schools on their wilder journey and making their project a reality. It’s competitions like this that help inspire the next generation to make a difference and look at how they can improve their school grounds in making more space for nature to thrive and is sustainable.”
In addition to the cash prize, the winning schools will be recognised as Wilder Schools by the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, granting them access to a wealth of learning materials and resources. The schools will also benefit from a ‘Wilder School Grounds consultation and advice’ visit from the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust team, as well as being given the opportunity to embark on a school trip to NMSB’s restored quarry in Milford on Sea, to tour the different wildlife habitats which have been created on-site.