Awards and Categories

Special Awards for the following elements

Up-Cycling Upcycling in the garden helps lessen the amount of waste going into landfills. Upcycling helps reduce CO2 emissions by using old materials instead of new ones. Schools are encouraged to rethink, repair, refurbish along with reusing & recycling items. E.g. Fairy Houses made from recycled materials, but don’t damage trees.

Food Production Being able to grow food without pesticides and eat it straight from the garden is superior in every way to produce that is pumped full of additives, packed to prevent it deteriorating, transported and then sold as ‘fresh’. Schools are asked to grow in raised beds and containers, Plant Fruit Trees, Fruit Bushes, Practice Rotation, Weeding, Labelling, Use of Composting, Rain Water Harvesting, Wormeries etc.

Biodiversity/Wildlife/ Native Flowers and Plants. It is now widely recognized that climate change and biodiversity are interconnected. Biodiversity is affected by climate change, with negative consequences for human well-being, but biodiversity, through the ecosystem services it supports, also makes an important contribution to both climate-change mitigation and adaptation. We are looking for Natural hedges, log piles, bird boxes, bird tables, wildflower meadows, nature trails, use of native flora, organic manures and natural pest control.

Bee Friendly Garden. Loss of natural and semi-natural habitats has been a key driver in pollinator declines. The availability of food plants and nesting sites has been drastically reduced through conversion of low-intensity farmland and semi-natural land to intensive farmland, forestry and urban/industrial use. We will again be presenting a special award for the school which is most bee friendly and encourages pollination

We are also looking for Gardens that include

Art and colour Using art and Colour in the garden to enhance its features and characteristics . Try using upcycled .materials

Imaginative use of limited space. For schools with very limited space ie. Small Courtyards, Limited Soil Space, Use of Tubs, Containers, Window Boxes, Paths, Borders, Walls etc.

Innovation and Creativity In recognition of the Creative Ireland Programme, this category encourages innovative garden elements, using new and unique features to inspire others

Fun and Play The degree to which the garden contributes to opportunities for fun and play in the school

Learning experience The degree to which the garden is used as a learning tool within the school and the amount of children who participate.

Community Involvement / Heritage the degree to which the wider community support the design, construction and ongoing development of the school garden. How the garden relates to local Heritage and how it reflects the history of the local community

Use of Irish Language in Garden A special element for the use of Irish in the garden. For example tree names in Irish, labelling and other signage in Irish.

Cork School Gardens of The Year .

Overall best Garden in Cork City

Overall best Garden in County Cork.

All schools who enter are automatically entered for these Awards depending on their location