The 8th Diocesan Eco-Awards were presented at the recent Synod. The winners were:
St Paul’s Church, Balloughton (Wexford Union) who won the Church Environs award. The congregation opted to preserve oak and ash trees in the church grounds rather than take the easy option of chopping them down. This was in order to continue to provide a long-time roost for rooks and for the protected pipistrelle bats that also live in the church belfry and tower.
St Mary’s Church, Dunleckney parish (Dunleckney Union) won the Capital Projects award for their innovative underfloor heating system. Their new grant-aided heating system, installed in 2013, has cut heating bills by 50% and ended the need for burning oil.
Lismore Cathedral won in the Motivation of the Young category. They had joined with Tidy Towns, Foroige and Waterford County Council to fund and develop the area to the west of the cathedral gates, transforming it from a muddy ditch into a Community Herb Garden. It has two bay trees, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme, all bordered by lavender.
New National Schools Eco-Awards
A national schools section was added this year with schools having to demonstrate a commitment to the environment beyond what they require for a green flag. The 2016 winners are:
Abbeyleix South NS. They erected a polytunnel and grew a wide variety of fruit and vegetables.
Kiltegan NS completed a project about looking after water and the problems caused by a lack of clean water and housing in the developing world.