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Ards And North Down

Students Aim for the Sky with the In Bloom Tallest Sunflower Competition!

The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Trevor Cummings, with students from Killard House School, Donaghadee. Photo Credit: Ian Pedlow

Students across Ards and North Down are being encouraged to enter this year’s Ards and North Down In Bloom Tallest Sunflower competition!

The Council’s In Bloom campaign and community competitions were officially launched at the end of April, and the Tallest Sunflower competition is one of the most hotly contested as it captures the imaginations of all those eligible entrants aged 16 and under.

Ards and North Down Borough Council has already distributed packets of seeds to many schools throughout the Borough so the race is on to find out who can grow the tallest sunflower by the end of August!

The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Trevor Cummings, said:

“By actively supporting the In Bloom community competitions, not only will students help make their parents or grandparents gardens more attractive but they will also be contributing to the Borough’s entry into the Translink Ulster in Bloom competition and other regional awards.

“It’s a great initiative to be involved in as it encourages everyone to think about their local environment and how attractive plants, flowers, trees and gardens can enhance it. 13-year-old Jacob Thompson from Newtownards won last year’s Tallest Sunflower competition with a sunflower that grew to an impressive height of more than four metres. I’m looking forward to finding out if anyone can match his efforts this year!”

Other competitions for young gardeners include a Painting Competition, Best School Garden Project and Young Volunteer of the Year. For those over the age of 16, categories include Best Kept Front Garden, Gardening for Wildlife, Best Kept Commercial Premises, Best Kept Community Planting Scheme and Volunteer of the Year.

The competitions are free to enter and prizes are available for the winners and runners-up in each. For more information, visit ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk/inbloom.

Ards And North Down

Schools Encouraged to Enter ‘In Bloom’ Best School Garden Project

The outgoing Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Trevor Cummings, was pictured during the final days of his 2020-21 Mayoral term with West Winds Primary School students Cooper, Riley, Isabella and Aamiyah. Photo Credit: Ian Pedlow

Schools in Ards and North Down are being invited to enter a new category in the Ards and North Down In Bloom competitions for the Best School Garden Project!

The competition provides a great opportunity for green-fingered students to take part in a valuable learning and skills sharing project in their school’s garden. It is open to all schools across the Borough, and students are being encouraged to work together to compete for the coveted award that offers prizes for the best projects.

The new category will encourage more young students to learn about gardening. The popular pastime has many benefits and can help children with their development as well as being an excellent educational tool.

By taking part in the competitions, schools will not only make their grounds more attractive but they will also contribute to the Borough’s entry into the Translink Ulster in Bloom competition and other regional awards. Entries are open until 30 September so there is plenty of time for schools to prepare their gardens before an expert panel of judges decide who has the Best School Garden Project in Ards and North Down.

The Council’s In Bloom campaign and community competitions were officially launched at the end of April. Other competitions for young gardeners include a Tallest Sunflower Competition, Painting Competition, and Young Volunteer of the Year.

For those over the age of 16, categories include Best Kept Front Garden, Gardening for Wildlife, Best Kept Commercial Premises, Best Kept Community Planting Scheme and Volunteer of the Year.

The competitions are free to enter and prizes are available for the winners and runners-up in each. For more information, visit ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk/inbloom.

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Ards And North Down

Council’s Innovative Recycling Fund Supports College’s Green Initiatives

(L-R) SERC Enterprise team Lizzie Buick, Jake Collyer, Karen McCartan, Charlotte Buick, Stephen Addy (Ards and North Down Borough Council), Natasha Lloyd, Rachel Innes, Megan Rollins and Dearbhla Knight.

Ards and North Down Borough Council’s innovative recycling fund has successfully supported environmental projects headed by students at South Eastern Regional College (SERC).

The Council’s Recycling Community Investment Fund (RCIF) provided funding to support the SERC Student Enterprise company ‘Don’t Bird It, Bin It’ and the college’s ongoing green initiatives.

‘Don’t Bird It, Bin It’ is an environmental project that was created to tackle the plastic waste problem through education. RCIF funding helped students offer an educational package tailored for local primary schools. This included visual aids and resources to demonstrate how detrimental plastic is to wildlife and eco-system.

Stephen Addy, the Council’s Head of Regulatory Services, said:

“The RCIF is powered by the recycling efforts of local residents and businesses. It costs the Council half as much to recycle waste compared to the cost of sending it to landfill. Thanks to an increased amount of recycling by the local community, the savings allowed the Council to create the RCIF which supports new and existing environmentally friendly initiatives such as excellent work being carried out by SERC’s students.”

Lizzie Buick, Deputy Head of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at SERC, said:

“With funding from Ards and North Down Borough Council’s RCIF, the Enterprise and Estates Departments at SERC were able to install 35 internal and four external recycling bins across our Bangor, Ards and Holywood campuses. The team also ran an internal competition for students to create art that would be displayed on the bins that encouraged recycling both on campus and in the local community. The recycling bins are part of a wider programme to build on our green credentials across the College.”

For more information about recycling in Ards and North Down, visit ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk/recycling.

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