Cockermouth gains eco schools award

Cockermouth School has become the first secondary school in Cumbria to gain Eco School status and be awarded the prestigious Green Flag.

Eco Schools status and the Green Flag award will be presented to the school by Jan Eriksen, President of Foundation of Environmental Education and Neil Turner MP, Chairman of the Local Environmental Quality All Party Parliamentary Group, on Thursday 19 June at the Mike Wilde Eco Centre at Cockermouth School.

Over 70 Eco experts from around the world will be attending the event at the school, which forms part of the international Foundation for Environmental Education General Assembly being held this year in the UK and at the Castle Green Hotel in Kendal. This is the first time ever that the UK has staged the prestigious event, which is hosted by Keep Britain Tidy. Previously it has taken place in South Africa and America.

Deputy Head at Cockermouth Gail Harris said: "We are thrilled to receive Eco Schools status and look forward to receiving the Green Flag award. Pupils and staff have been working towards this for some time and environmental issues are part of the ethos of the school.

"This award is a wonderful recognition of the environmental activities, large and small including recycling and energy reduction being made at Cockermouth School. We are grateful to the local community and particularly Cumbria County Council for their support in these efforts."

Alan Chambers MBE and Peter Herbert are joining the pupils and environmental leaders at the Eco Centre. The pair have just returned from crossing the icecap of Greenland -a 600km epic which took 40 days. The two explorers will join delegates at the school to share their experiences and also celebrate the award with the school.

Alan Chambers said: "One of the main initiatives of Feet of Green is to help focus the attention of as many people as possible, especially the young, on the fast changing global environmental challenges that we all face. We are delighted to be invited to this event and to be part of its global campaign to raise awareness of environmental concerns."

Phil Barton, Keep Britain Tidy chief executive, said: "Cumbria is already a great supporter of FEE with over 80 schools designated as Eco-Schools. We are delighted that the delegates have the chance to experience the sights of the region as well as tackling the serious environmental issues on the agenda.

"This is the first time that the UK has hosted the event -so it is a major coup for the country and the Lake District. As well as the 70 delegates from around the world, we are also pleased to welcome Alan and Peter so soon after their fantastic 'Feet Of Green'expedition to Greenland and are looking forward to hearing all about their adventures."

The event at Cockermouth School is sponsored by Invest in Cumbria and the General Assembly is sponsored by English Partnerships.