Marches School’s Eco School Project

The Marches School are looking at ways to ensure the school site is biodiverse, reduces waste and litter and reduces overall energy consumption. This will be delivered following a clear action plan and driven by members of the award winning Eco Club which takes place each week at the school.

Action plan

For more information on where these areas will be delivered, check out their action plan below:

Marches School awarded a coveted Eco-Schools Green Flag with Merit

Students at the Marches School, Oswestry, have earned an international accreditation this academic year, recognising their amazing work in making their school more environmentally friendly and raising eco-awareness in fellow students.

Eco group students | Marches Academy Trust

Eco-Schools Programme

The Eco-Schools programme was established in 1994 and is now delivered in more than 70 countries across the globe. More than 1 million pupils attended an Eco-School in England in 2022-23.

Students at the Marches School first formed an Eco-Committee, then collaborated with Dr Renwick, Miss Price and Mr Hopley to conduct an environmental review, assessing how eco-friendly their school was. They reviewed everything from biodiversity within their school grounds to how students and staff members travel to school. Building on their findings, students planned a year of action designed to advance their school’s green credentials, improve their local environment and protect our planet.

The Eco-Committee connected their work to 3 Eco-Schools topics: biodiversity, energy and waste. Projects included: planting 1000 hedgerow trees on site, energy switch off initiatives and recycling crisp packets.

Much of this would not have been possible without the funding, help and support from the Marches School site team, teachers and local organisations such as Oswestry Council, Shropshire Council, the Woodland Trust, Shropshire Wildlife Trust and the British Ironworks.

In addition, the Eco Schools campaign praised the Marches School for incorporating environmental issues across different lessons, including geography and science, as well as other subjects such as photography and design technology.

The Marches Eco Schools Co-ordinator, Dr Renwick said; “I am so proud of our Eco Committee and their enthusiasm. Students are now creating and leading their own projects – including a sensory eco-garden. This year we will continue to support biodiversity, save energy and look at how we can reduce and recycle more waste, as well as looking at how we can integrate sustainability across the curriculum.”

The school also received praise from the local community with the Mayor of Oswestry, Councillor Olly Rose congratulating The Marches School on achieving Eco Award status; “I’m delighted by this achievement and having heard the detail of what the Marches have been doing to achieve it, it is really remarkable. A lot of hard work has been put in by both staff and students, they set a great example to everyone, showing what can be done at a local level to address climate change and the biodiversity emergency. The young people have excellent ideas and give me hope, as they are the adults of the future.”

Eco-Schools England Manager, Adam Flint, said; “The Eco-Schools Green Flag award is an internationally recognised symbol of high environmental standards. The pupils and school staff that earn the award deserve immense credit for their hard work, determination, and creativity. Their passion for protecting our planet is an inspiration to us all.”

Eco Club win Environmental Award!

The Marches School’s Eco Club have won the Borderland Rotary Club Inter-School Environmental Action Award for ‘our dedication and commitment of students to participate in a tree planting activity in partnership with Oswestry Town Council as well as environmental activities designed to enhance biodiversity and improving the outdoor learning environment of the school grounds’.

Eco Club win award | Marches Academy Trust

In summary, our entry showcased key actions we have taken across the school site:

Marches School students have planted over 1000 hedgerow trees which will provide habitats and food for insects, birds and small mammals. The trees for this project were provided by The Woodland TrustShropshire Council, with help from the Oswestry Wildlife TrustOswestry Town Council and Whittington Castle Trust.

Our students have made and regularly fill bird feeders in the school’s Eco Garden. They then monitor bird life and have taken part in the RSPB Big Schools Birdwatch. Students have also installed a hedgehog house, kindly donated by CJ Wildlife, and put out food, water and shelter.

The Marches School also worked with the Shropshire Wildlife Trust, with funding from the Ernest Cook Foundation (as part of the Green Influencers Scheme) in order to restore the school’s pond. Students then surveyed invertebrates, tested for nitrates and phosphates, and have been researching aquatic plants ready for installation.

Overall, Borderland Rotary Club were particularly impressed with the our partnership with other organisations in the community such as Oswestry Council, The Woodland Trust and Shropshire Wildlife Trust. Justin Soper urged Eco Club members to “keep going because you are our planet’s future”.

Operation Pollination Campaign

Justin and Sherie Soper from Borderland Rotary Club presented the school with a beautiful trophy of a bumblebee to represent the Marches commitment to the Rotary Club International’s Operation Pollination campaign, along with a certificate and a £30 Booka Bookshop book token to be used to purchase eco/environment related books for our school library.

We are lucky to be able to provide a vast range of enrichment opportunities for our students. These are ready and waiting for them to get involved in! There is something for everyone with 33 clubs available this half term, taking place during lunchtimes or after school. Have a look on our website Clubs and Enrichment and please encourage your child to come along.
Operation Pollination campaign trophy | Marches Academy Trust