Environment Minister Edwin Poots has visited several schools in Belfast which have taken advantage of his Schools Pollinator initiative.

Environment Minister Edwin Poots helps Georgia Aiken and Charlie Patrick carve a pumpkin during a visit to Aurelian Children’s School in Belfast

The Pollinator School Garden scheme was launched in Spring 2022 and is run on the ground by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful and offers grants of between £3,000 and £12,000 to successful applicants. A £2.4 million scheme specifically for schools to improve the health of our bees and pollinators and help protect our ecosystems.

Minister Poots said: “Today we are once again seeing the Pollinator Schools scheme come to fruition as our young people apply their commitment to the environment to help improve the future environment of their schools. To date, 302 schools have received offers from the Pollinator Schools scheme -pollinators.” Earlier in the year, I saw early on the high level of demand for the scheme and its potential, so I increased the budget from £1.9m to £2.4m so that more schools and schoolchildren can benefit from it for many years to come.

“Today I saw first-hand the benefits in action at Fleming Fulton, Orelia Nursery and Wellington College, illustrating how different age groups of school children from toddlers to teenagers are enjoying an improved learning environment thanks to the new scheme-led pollinator gardens in their schools” .

He added: “I have been impressed by the level and dedication of the students’ pollinator garden plans in Wellington and how the school has been able to integrate the scheme with many aspects of the curriculum. Students have designed their very own school pollinator garden, which will create a new, biodiverse outdoor green space where students can eat, relax and have lunch. The pollinator gardens are a fantastic asset to our schools and community and I have no doubt that our young pollinator champions will put them to good use.”