fbpx Skip to main content

Wightlink launches eco-grant scheme for secondary schools 

Isle of Wight secondary schools and colleges are invited to apply for a share of £10,000 from Wightlink’s second Green Fund for Schools initiative to support environmental projects on the Island. 

The first scheme, launched earlier in 2022, supported 15 primary schools with cash grants for a host of projects ranging from energy efficiency and recycling schemes to the creation of wildflower meadows and reinvigorating school ponds. 

Wightlink is now encouraging secondary schools and colleges to apply for funding for projects to be delivered next year. This time the emphasis will be on sustainable living and decarbonisation. 

Wightlink Chief Executive Keith Greenfield says: “We were blown away by the enthusiasm and creativity shown by Island primary schools and have enjoyed seeing their projects progress. 

“We look forward to receiving applications from secondary schools and colleges wishing to embark on sustainable projects geared towards reducing or removing carbon, leaving a legacy, providing ongoing education and/or continuing into future years. This is something which is really important to us as a company.” 

Wightlink is committed to running a sustainable business, with 99 per cent of its waste recycled or used to produce electricity. Its hybrid energy ferry Victoria of Wight and other environmental measures have contributed to its carbon footprint reducing by 33 per cent since 2007. Most of the refreshments sold onboard and at its terminals are sourced locally with food miles from Island suppliers averaging just six.  

The company also supports several biodiversity projects, partnering with wildlife charities and university researchers to preserve and improve habitats in the Solent. 

Maggie Sanderson, Headteacher at St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School in Carisbrooke explains how the school used its Wightlink grant to create a wildlife pond within the school grounds. 

“We purchased native plants to inject life into what was previously a puddle of water in a barren field. The pond now hums with dragonflies and other insect life such as water boatmen and pond skaters can be clearly seen. We are hopeful that the pond will be home to tadpoles in the spring as the new foliage encourages more wildlife into the area. 

“The grant has not only enabled us to improve biodiversity at the pond, it has also created an additional learning resource for our children which provides study opportunities year round.” 

Applications should be made via Wightlink’s website by Friday 2 December 2022 – full details can be found at www.wightlink.co.uk/community/fund