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St Francis Xavier

GREEN VISION

A force of eco warriors are building momentum to create a lasting legacy for future generations.

Since the formation of the Eco team at St Francis Xavier School in Richmond three years ago they have been building - strengthening in numbers, support and ideas and developing their plans - receiving attention locally and nationally.

On Tuesday 24th September they presented to the school and local community supporters including NYCC Councilor Stuart Parsons, Janet and Roger Nutting from ‘Out of the Box’, Chris Kirby, the president of Richmond Rotary Club, the past president, Robert Hughes, Dr Sawyer, Director of SEE Sustainability and Kevin Foster, the first Green Party Councilor at Richmondshire District Council. The team presented their achievements to date and laid out their visions for the future. They have already achieved the Green Flag award, lobbied MP Rishi Sunak and are due to visit the headquarters of the Guardian Newspaper in London after challenging them on their use of single use plastics.

“I really appreciate the support from key members in our local community”, said Margaret Land, the founder of the Eco Team at the school. “It is a validation of the student’s efforts and allows them to see the positive impact their work has on the community as a whole. This can only lead to an increased awareness of environmental issues and an understanding that small changes can make a big difference.”

The team have already embarked on an ambitious planting scheme, encouraged wildlife in the school grounds through feeders and the building of hedgehog boxes as well as reducing waste and litter to help nature flourish. Now they hope to go a step further, introducing wild flower verges to further promote the local wildlife. With the support of the vicar they will trial a wildflower meadow at St Mary’s Church and use this pilot scheme to demonstrate to the positive impact it can have to the wider community with the hope of finding more sites to develop the scheme around the town.

“The group is impressive so supporting them didn’t take a second thought,” said Councilor Stuart Parson who has supported the group and given them access to £2000 from the NYCC Law Locality Budget to support their endeavours “The students are excellent. It is a joy to have people who are so committed and willing to take action and have a positive impact on their environment.”

The Eco Team will travel to London on Friday 27th September (an offset journey) to meet with the Guardian Newspaper.