with a theme based around saving our endangered bees, young artists from schools all around County Wexford received awards for the Wexford County Council Annual Artwork Competition 2017 in the County Hall last week.
'This competition is about raising awareness of the importance of our bees, and encouraging us all, from local authorities to farmers, to gardeners and businesses to schools to try to create a county where pollinators can survive and thrive,' said council chairman Cllr John Hegarty.
The artwork competition is an initiative run by the Environment Section of Wexford County Council in conjunction with Wexford Naturalists' Field Club.
The theme of this year's competition was 'Bumblebee, Solitary Bee and Honeybee - Nature Pollinators.' Cllr Hegarty presented prizes to 30 school children representing both primary and secondary schools.
'the aim of the competition was to develop an awareness of the importance of biodiversity and to better understand its value to local communities,' said Cllr Hegarty.
'Each year a different theme is chosen and this year's theme was about bees nature's pollinators. The All Ireland Pollinator Plan (2015-2020) was produced to help save our bees. One third of our bees species are threatened with extinction from Ireland.
'We know it's because we have drastically reduced the areas where they can nest and the amount of food our landscape provides for them. Without bees we won't be able to grow our own fruits and vegetables, and our wild flowers will begin to disappear.
Cllr Hegarty said the artwork displayed here today reminds us all to look after our environment, a precious legacy for the generations to come.
'We all have a role to play in learning more about biodiversity and protecting the natural heritage of Wexford.'
The competition received 1754 entries from schools from all over the county.
The Chairman thanked Don Conroy for judging the art and colouring competition and thanked Wexford Naturalists' Field Club for supporting the competition. He also praised the young artists present and encouraged them to maintain a healthy respect for the environment as part of their lives.
The overall winner from Primary schools was Erin Doyle, Ballyduff National School and the overall winner from Secondary Schools was Yvonne Lambert, of Bunclody Vocational College. The winning artwork will be displayed in County Hall until the end of July. Prizes were also presented for the Snap into Action Competition, which is open to both schools and community groups. This competition encourages people from all walks of life to take action against litter. Scoil Mochua, Oulart received first prize in the Snap Into Action School Competition and received a cheque for €500. Duncormick Harvest Festival Committee were presented with 1st prize in the Snap Into Action Community Group Competition and also received a cheque for €500.