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PHOENIX SOWS SEEDS FOR SCHOOLS ECO-INITIATIVE IN NEWTOWNARDS
February 2021 - The Ards Advertiser
Pictured alongside Jonathan Martindale, Director of Business Development at Phoenix Natural Gas and Georgina Black, Eco-Schools Officer at Keep NI Beautiful (l-r) are Londonderry Primary School pupils Hannah Young, Ayesha Walsh, Ben Weir and Max Brown.
Phoenix Natural Gas has helped pupils at Londonderry Primary School, Newtownards plant new trees in their school grounds as part of an eco-initiative in partnership with Eco-Schools at Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful.
The Learning About Forests Programme (LEAF) is an international programme, run by the Foundation of Environmental Education and delivered in 28 countries, engaging 700,000 students worldwide. LEAF, which is delivered by Eco-Schools environmental education programme in Northern Ireland, advocates outdoor learning and hand-on experiences which result in pupils getting a deeper understanding of the natural world.
Aimed at increasing young people’s awareness of the role that forests play in sustaining life on the planet, the pilot LEAF Programme, which was delivered at Londonderry Primary School and St Finian’s Primary School, Newtownards, culminated in a tree planting day that saw pupils share the knowledge learnt throughout the programme.
Director of Business Development at Phoenix Natural Gas, Jonathan Martindale, who took part in the tree planting activity alongside the pupils, said: “We were delighted to partner with Eco-Schools to help develop a schools programme that brings forests to life. As well as learning about the benefits of trees, through the planting session the children involved in the project leave a legacy that will help pupils throughout the school continue learning for years to come.
“Environmental responsibility is important to us at Phoenix Natural Gas, not least because natural gas provides an energy source to consumers that is up to 50% less polluting than other fuel alternatives, and we are actively involved with environmental partners to implement initiatives, such as LEAF, that bring real benefit to local communities.”
Georgina Black, Eco-Schools Officer at Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful said: “Initiatives like LEAF are making a real and tangible difference in helping young people appreciate the beauty of nature and understand the vital role that tree planting plays for sustainable life on our planet.
“Northern Ireland is the least wooded area in the UK. We are delighted to partner with Phoenix Gas on tree planting initiatives such as this, which are important in supporting the current climate action agenda and positively contributing to carbon emissions reduction in Northern Ireland. We need more projects like this, engaging young people through the Eco-Schools programme and more widely with local communities through the Live Here Love Here programme”
Full details on the Phoenix Natural Gas Responsible Business Programme can be found at: www.phoenixnaturalgas.com/about-us/phoenix-group/corporate-responsibility.
Further details on the Eco-Schools programme is available at www.eco-schoolsni.org.