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Winners of this year's Provost School Footprint Challenge announced!

Provost School Footprint

The winners of the 2024 Provost School Footprint Challenge have been announced following almost a year of tough competition between South Ayrshire schools.

Girvan Academy were crowned the winners in a ceremony held at Dumfries House.

The Provost's School Footprint Challenge is an annual competition that gives young people within local schools the chance to develop, implement, and present solutions for reducing their own schools' carbon footprint.

Each school is challenged to undertake their own projects to tackle climate change; ranging from reducing energy use, increasing recycling and litter picking, and improving biodiversity; whilst raising awareness about these important issues.

Girvan Academy claimed the top prize for upgrading their outdoor classroom; working to increase biodiversity around the school; planting marram grass to prevent coastal erosion on the golf course; and continuing an ongoing clothing recycling project. Pupils also attended COP 28 in Glasgow and started working with the Girvan Youth Trust on their eco-friendly projects. Additionally, the school building has been upgraded with a variety of energy saving measures.

Marr College secured second place in the competition for their initiatives related to biodiversity, waste reduction and community involvement, and Southcraig School won third place with their initiatives for biodiversity, involvement, and waste reduction through their sustainable enterprise project.

This is the first time the event has been held at Dumfries House, offering the children a range of fun activities as well as the chance to wow the panel of judges with presentations about the great work they'd been carrying out over the course of the school term.

The judging panel included Provost Iain Campbell; John Wincott, Chair of Sustainable Scotland Network; Lyndsay McRoberts, South Ayrshire Council's Depute Chief Executive and Director of Education, and guest panel member, Mayor Keith Brady of Newnan, Georgia.

Provost Iain Campbell said: "This year's Provost School Footprint Challenge provided another brilliant opportunity for the young people of South Ayrshire to develop their own projects to tackle climate change. The pupils never fail to blow away the judges with their innovative ideas, and this year was no different with an exceptional standard of work across the schools!"

"I'd like to congratulate our winners, Girvan Academy, and all the schools that participated. You should all be very proud of what you've achieved - you're a credit to your communities.

"A very big thank you to Mayor Keith Brady for agreeing to be a guest panellist. His input to the panel, and address to the schools, was very warmly received."

You can find videos about each of the schools' projects on the South Ayrshire Council YouTube channel here - South Ayrshire Council - YouTube