Haberdashers’ Monmouth School (HMS) hosted its inaugural sustainability conference for more than 200 students from local primary schools and other Haberdashers’ Company schools this week. The focus was on ‘local to global’ initiatives covering land, water and air that everyone can get involved with.

‘Sustainability is a generational challenge,’ says Simon Dorman, Head of Haberdashers’ Monmouth School, ‘and we believe that sustainability should be embedded in education.The Wye Valley’s natural beauty is fragile and we take the safeguarding of our own site very seriously.”

The first day of the conference on Sunday was led by Action on Climate Emergency (ACE) with presentations from local primary schools on their deforestation pilot projects and a presentation by Derek Walker, the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, on ‘deforestation free’ school status.

Osbaston School is the first deforestation free school in Wales and is hoping their example can persuade  Monmouthshire County Council to become the first deforestation-free council in the UK.

The keynote speaker on Monday was Kate Humble, TV presenter and writer, and local farmer. She said that scientists have said that the world will last for another seven billion years and that the climate has always been changing from the planet being covered in ice to Saharan-like conditions, but the challenge for the world's population today has to be on creating conditions sustainable for that next seven billion years.

Over 1 and 2 July, one of the biggest climate change awareness workshops in Wales took place, led by Tom Deacon, the climate FRESK coordinator in Wales and supported by A level geography students from Haberdashers Monmouth Schools. Climate FRESK is a 3-hour interactive workshop that explains how everyone can take action and make a difference. https://climatefresk.org./world/

On the last day, the keynote speaker was Clare Sain-ley-Berry, Director Cynnal Cymru (Sustain Wales), followed by a day of nature discovery workshops including sustainability and food, learning about bees, hedgehogs and owls, and designing a wildlife-friendly garden. 

HMS student Dylan Allman, the school’s sustainability prefect and founder of Hedgehog Aware!, launched a Monmouthshire-wide Mammal Citizen Science Project to inspire young people across the county to monitor, track and protect local mammals.

He was awarded an Ambassadorial role by the Mammal Society