We were delighted to receive the Regional Winners Award of the Environmental Youth Awards, at the Royal Bath & West show during half term. The award was presented by Annie Maw, the new Lord-lieutenant of Somerset.

This innovative and exciting regional competition was started in 1996 by Brigadier John Hemsley with the Royal Bath & West of England Society and has now become firmly established, capitalising upon its success in encouraging many youngsters to become interested in environmental and conservation matters.

The aim of the Environmental Youth Awards is to recognise the part played by young people in promoting environmental projects, as well as encouraging a better appreciation and understanding amongst youth about the world around them on and in particular important conservation and environmental issues.

This recognition is made on the basis of an award to any group of young people who have made a significant contribution to conservation and/or environmental management and sustainability.

One nomination each year is selected from each of the counties covered by the Society. Bearing in mind the main objective of fostering and encouraging interest in environmental matters, the selections are made on the basis of rewarding originality and effort, irrespective of age, provided this is within an overall quality project.

Jason Holt, Head of Outdoor Pursuits at Warminster commented “Our pupils are encouraged to undertake small conservation tasks, such as planting trees, protecting bluebells and making bird/dormouse boxes. In addition, activities such as carrying in water, the planning of construction of a compost toilet, removing rubbish and searching for firewood encourage participants to think about these issues in the wider world. Our School fosters a deep respect for the environment in general and woodlands in particular, so we are delighted with this award.”

The Forest School at Warminster offers all pupils the chance to build a relationship with the site and learn about what lives there, and how to take care of it and how to use the natural materials from the site sustainably. In an age where children are absorbed by their electronic devices and have a lack of safe outdoor opportunities, the chance for them to escape the pressures of the online world is essential. Warminster’s outdoor setting encourages teachers and pupils to embrace teaching and learning in a challenging, natural woodland environment.

Gillian Walmsley, Teacher and Environmental Coordinator at Warminster School said “The review was quite detailed and was completed by Year 7 pupils. They investigated energy and water use, sourcing food, travelling to School, recycling and the diversity of our environment. They chose two areas to focus on – firstly energy saving and the creation of a nature trail around the pond area and planting bee friendly plants ready for the introduction of a hive. The Environmental Youth Awards initiative is a great way to promote conservation and environmental issues to young people. We are thrilled with this award!”