Best year ever for Eco-Schools project

A TOTAL of five Newtownabbey schools achieved Eco-Schools green flag status during 2011-12.

The successful schools were Ballyclare Primary, Kilbride Central Primary, Hazelwood Integrated Primary, Ballyclare High and Glengormley High.

The Eco-Schools programme, supported by the Department of the Environment and sponsored by Airtricity, is operated by Tidy Northern Ireland and aims to make Northern Ireland a cleaner and more pleasant place in which to live.

The past 12 months has proved to be the most successful year ever for Eco-Schools, with an all-time record of 97 schools achieving the prestigious green flag for their commitment to environmental improvement.

There are currently 841 registered Eco-Schools in Northern Ireland, representing 68 per cent of all schools and the programme continues to grow as more and more schools are choosing to become Eco-Schools.

Ian Humphreys, Chief Executive of Tidy Northern Ireland said: “It is hugely encouraging to see the many benefits of joining Eco-Schools, such as better pupil engagement, cost savings and environmental improvement, being shared by nearly seven out of every 10 schools in Northern Ireland. We aim to be working with 1,000 schools by March 2014.”

Meanwhile, Eco-Schools throughout Northern Ireland have shown their dedication to reducing energy usage by signing up to Airtricity’s Operation Energy.

More than 3,000 pupils from 130 different schools have already been involved in the initiative, with even more schools signing up in advance of the new school year.

Operation Energy offers an exciting range of free online resources and projects packed with activities, campaigns, games, videos and competitions to help schools study and reduce energy usage.

For more information, or to register, log on to or