The national campaign Nature Hero Awards is aimed at supporting schools with their biodiversity goals.

The aim of the programme is to provide recognition to schools that create an educational space that nurtures a love of nature and develops a knowledge of our biodiversity among a younger generation.

The programme, sponsored by Glenveagh, is currently open for applications for this academic year.

About the programme

The Nature Hero Award is a participative programme with a competitive element, where one school will be awarded overall winners.

It covers many topics such as school gardening, biodiversity conservation, eco-literacy and responsible citizenship, as well as physical and mental wellbeing.

Those who sign up will receive a checklist of tasks they must complete to become a nature hero.

Projects vary from ensuring outdoor learning time to hanging bird nest boxes. Tasks can be completed at your own pace between now and March 2024.

Once completed, schools are awarded a plaque to celebrate their commitment to outdoor education and biodiversity. The overall Nature Hero Award winner will also receive a plaque, as well as a €10,000 school garden makeover.

Importance of understanding nature

Speaking on the awards, campaign ambassador Fionnuala Moran said: “I am delighted to be part of this year’s Nature Hero Awards.

It is so important that we encourage children to foster a love and understanding for nature from a young age. By becoming a nature hero, these students are making a vital contribution to a more sustainable future.”

Last year’s winners

The 2023 Nature Hero Award was awarded to Powerstown Educate Together National School in Tyrrelstown, Dublin, and the school was able to continue their already great work of transforming their gardens to help biodiversity and boost outdoor learning for their students.

Biodiversity in Schools director Mark Nolan said: "It was inspirational to see the amazing biodiversity work completed by young people and their teachers across Ireland last year. We are thrilled to begin our work with schools again this year and help them with their outdoor learning."

Outdoor learning

Biodiversity in Schools is Ireland's largest outdoor learning organisation for young people.

Their aim is to work with schools to empower the next generation to take biodiversity action while also improving both their mental and physical well-being through connection with nature.

Together with the school's partner, Glenveagh is sponsoring the awards for the second year in a row.

According to community engagement manager at Glenveagh Annette McGarry, the Nature Hero Award is a key part of the building lasting communities educational programme.

“It was amazing to see the commitment to biodiversity from all of the participants last year and we are excited to see the incredible work this year’s pupils will do”, said Annette.

The award is open to preschools, primary schools and secondary schools within the Republic of Ireland. For schools wishing to register, visit


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