Third Eco Flag for wind-powered Shetland school

by Tom Morton -

Urafirth Primary School in Hillswick has just been awarded its third 'eco flag', recognising its commitment to the environment, work towards sustainability and longstanding status as one Shetland's first users of windpower in an educational context

The school's mini-croft - featuring raised beds - and polytunnel were singled out for praise by Eco Schools Scotland as efforts continue at Urafirth to use food grown locally - and sometimes by the children themselves. Beautiful floral displays also lend colour to the school environment.

Road safety and a commitment to keeping the area tidy and beautiful are also priorities.

Since 2011, a Proven P11 six-kilowatt wind turbine has operated with great success in all weather conditions at Urafirth, supplying electricity to the school and selling surplus to the grid. The school pioneered wind energy in Shetland education a decade ago with a different model of wind turbine.

Shetland Islands Council told Power from the North that 34 schools in the isles are registered with the Eco Schools programme. Nineteen of these have achieved the Green Flag status on at least one occasion. As this is assessed every two years some have five 'flags'. A further four schools have bronze or silver awards – which are stages before full flag status. Nine are currently getting their paperwork together, although a number of these are probably at full flag status already.