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Royal interest in Young Environmentalist Challenge contest

Royal interest in Young Environmentalist Challenge contest

A competition for budding young environmentalists, which was backed by Sembcorp Bournemouth Water (SBW), Eco Sustainable Solutions and the Ferndown Haskins Garden Centre, has attracted royal attention.

HRH Prince Charles has expressed an interest in the Young Environmentalist Challenge Competition and has asked the organisers, the Rotary Club of Ferndown, to send him a copy of the winning entries.

More than 125 entries were received from pupils aged from five to 15 years at Ferndown's three schools.

They included over 100 designs for a sustainable wildlife garden as well as 20 essays and Powerpoint presentations on a wide variety of environmental issues, from wildlife conservation and coastal erosion to litter and vandalism.

Speaking at the prizegiving ceremony, attended by more than 80 people at the Cobham Social Club in Merley, organiser Gerry Clarke praised the hard work, dedication and commitment of the young people entering the competition.

"The standards of entry were remarkably high," he said.

‘In fact, so successful has the competition been, next year we aim to roll it out to even more schools in Dorset and Hampshire,’ he closed.

Simon Morris, General Manager at Ferndown’s Haskins Garden Centre, said that he was pleased to have been able to support the competition by providing prizes including garden tools, gloves, and vouchers.

The winning entries will be displayed in their restaurant’s Cedar Room for a week from June 17.

The winners were:

Knoll Gardens Foundation Prize for Best Garden Design:

Best Ferndown First School pupil: Sophie Doswell, aged 8.

Best Ferndown Middle School pupil: Zoe Bingham, aged 11.

Best Ferndown Upper School student: Holly Turner, aged 17.

4-9 age category (Ferndown First School)

First: Sophie Doswell, aged 8.

Second: Will Boote, aged 7.

Third: Lottie Woodings, aged 6.

9-13 age category (Ferndown Middle School):

First: Zoe Bingham, aged 11.

Second: Rebecca Mills, aged 11,

Third: Will Andrews, aged 10.

13-18 age category (Ferndown Upper School):

First: Michaela Sibsey, aged 14.

Second: Mollie Campbell, aged 15.

Third: James Arthur, aged 14.

The prizes included Kindle Fire mini tablets, books and vouchers with the overall winner, Michaela Sibsey, receiving a fully paid exchange trip to Dublin.

The Rotary Club of Ferndown is twinned with Dublin North Rotary Club and Jack Kinane, Past President of the Dublin North Rotary Club, was among the guests at the prizegiving ceremony.

In addition to the main prizes, winners of the 9-13 age range were presented with a SBW 'goody bag' by Richard Stanbrook, SBW's Director of Retail and Corporate Services, who highlighted the need to reduce water use in order to avoid over abstraction from source rivers.

He also pointed out how people in the UK only used 50 litres per day at the turn of the century but this had increased to 150 which was having an impact on the country's carbon footprint.

Other sponsors of the competition included Knoll Gardens, Golden Acres. Chapelwood Wildlife Suppliers, CJ Wildbird Food and Lush.

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