Since its conception in September 2019, the Tyfu Project run by the newly formed School Eco-Action Taskforce at Ysgol Clywedog has gone from strength to strength.
The initial aim of the project was simply to take over a disused boggy sports field and turn it into a haven of biodiversity and outdoor learning. The pupils (aged 11-16) meet weekly to discuss and then implement the actions that need to be taken.
In October 2019 the pupils in the Eco-taskforce held a ‘Tree Planting Party’ to plant 250 trees of mixed types from the Woodland Trust. This was the first step in the whole plan and the intention of this was to soak up the water in the ground and make the field usable again. This was a great success!
Since then, we have been working in partnership with local groups and businesses to really make an impact. The Wirral Tree Wardens have donated 50 additional trees to add to our project area.
Following this the pupils planned and started planting an allotment to grow their own fruit and vegetables onsite. The intention of this was to improve outdoor learning, improve mental health, improve teamwork and confidence, and give more pupils access to this well being project. The pupils had planted potatoes, butternut squash, strawberries, sweet potatoes and a variety of wildflowers. However, they knew that with only a few people onsite at school these could not be looked after. During Lockdown these seedlings had to be moved over to gardens of local retired residents and some members of the local Friends of the Earth group to be looked after. This had a really positive knock on effect of linking the school to the local community and helping those that are isolated during this period.
Alongside these outdoor activities, the Tyfu project has taken on a wider scope focusing on plastic pollution and waste both in school and across the world. In school the pupils have run seasonal campaigns to promote plastic free shopping such as Halloween ‘Plastic is the Real Monster’.
When we started on this journey our expectations were low and our plans small. The student’s passion to make a difference and their capacity for good has changed everything. The phrase ‘Act local, Think Global’ has been expanded to ‘Act Local, Act Global’ and the students are realising that they CAN make a difference to the environment and people’s lives around the world from a comprehensive school on the outskirts of Wrexham. You are never too small to make a difference!
The pupils of the Eco-Action Taskforce have also built a fantastic relationship with the pupils in Colegio Enriquez Soler in Melilla, North Africa. They have created a joint video raising awareness of the issues of plastic waste around the world https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-twdmf5s9k&t
During Lockdown, this friendship continued, as the pupils also joined up with their Eco-Partner school in Melilla to create a video about their hopes for the time after Lockdown: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGiZkQuordA&t
The pupils also sent a delegation to the Mock COP in both Wrexham and Cardiff where they debated, discussed and struck deals with other pupils from across the country on international environmental issues.
Finally, one of the pupils, Libby Cole (Year 9) is now hoping to start her journey emulating the work of Dr Jane Goodall. She has started her own small business, making jewellery, saving up to go on a 4-week expedition with Camps International to Tanzania where she will be helping to build schools and hospitals and going to see the amazing wildlife in the area. https://www.facebook.com/Libbys-Tanzania-Fundraising-100550031669179/
Awards and Funding:
Not only have they been working hard to make a difference, the pupils of the Eco-Action Taskforce have also won a number of awards:
Since September 2019, the Eco-Action Taskforce have won:
- Woodland Trust ‘GOLD’ Green Trees School Award
- Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots Silver Award
- RHS School Award – Bronze
- Eco-Schools – Bronze
We have also received funding from:
– MBNA/Cheshire Community Foundation