Flintshire Primary Schools groundbreaking decarbonisation project recognised with prestigious award
A Flintshire Primary School has achieved recognition with the prestigious Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Landscape Award for their groundbreaking renewable energy project.
Pupils at Ysgol y Foel shared their school’s achievements to benefit the school and environment and achieve recognition from the AONB Landscape Award.
The small school in Cilcain is the first school in Flintshire to complete a decarbonisation project of this scale to make the school sustainable for future generations.
The 1960’s school building did not support the vision of sustainability and the use of renewable energy as the heating source used was oil and the electricity sourced from the national grid.
School governors realised an opportunity to reduce the energy bills and carbon footprint as a whole.
Using local experts and support from the Sustainable Development Fund for the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB, ambitious plans were developed taking the school into untested territory, a complete refit of their energy source and heating system to reduce the school’s carbon footprint to net zero.
A total of 84 solar panels have been fitted to the roof space along with Air Source Pumps, providing electrical power and all year round heat to the whole school.
They have also installed a power wall to store the electricity so the school will not run out of power even on gray days and there is even enough energy to sell back to the grid at peak times.
With AONB funding secured for the project, the school has been able to build and outdoor classroom within their grounds facilitating other schools to visit and learn more about the schools wide variety of flora and fauna and its journey to net zero.
This school is leaving a legacy for innovation within Flintshire and are an inspiration for decarbonisation.
Hannah Blythyn, MS for Delyn, said: “It was a pleasure to be able to present this award to Ysgol Y Foel once again showing how our corner of the country is leading the way on protecting our environment and helping to secure our planet for future generations.”
“It was great to previously have had the opportunity to visit the school and hear the pupils passionately demonstrate the work that had been done to decarbonise the school how they had secured support to make it a reality.”
“Congratulations again to everyone involved in the project and I hope this award inspires others and acts as a trailblazer.”
Flintshire’s Leader and Cabinet Member for Education and Youth, Councillor Ian Roberts, said: “Ysgol y Foel is most certainly leading the way for sustainable energy in Flintshire’s schools.”
“This is fantastic project and bringing the carbon footprint of the school to net zero is an excellent achievement.”
“This award from AONB is thoroughly deserved. I am sure other schools in the future will be lined up to visit the outdoor class room and new systems in place. Congratulations Ysgol y Foel.”
Head teacher for Ysgol Y Foel Emma O’Neill said she was “incredibly proud” to have received the award and “look forward to sharing this ground breaking project with other schools to encourage them to reduce their carbon footprint.”
David Shiel AONB said: “The AONB Partnership is delighted to award this year’s AONB Landscape Award to Ysgol y Foel in recognition of the huge achievement of the Decarbonisation Project.
“The AONB makes an award every year to a community, individual or business that has made an outstanding contribution to the landscape of the AONB. The work of the staff, governors and children at Ysgol y Foel has been truly inspiring and sets an example for us all.”
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