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The win's in the willows;Subject of the week;Environment

More than l00 entries have been received by the Living Earth Foundation for this year's My Place our Place project. This arm of the eco-encouragement industry, backed by insurance company Legal and General, aims to motivate schools to work with local businesses, promoting awareness of ecological issues and finding practical solutions to local problems.

Under the scheme, which is endorsed by naturalist and TV presenter Dr David Bellamy, schools bid for one of 12 pound;500 awards. Dr Bellamy says:

"Thinking globally, acting locally is a great green motto."

Among the 1997 winners wasBishop of Hereford's Bluecoat School, Hereford. The school's Willows and Man project developed a sustainable biological water treatment works in the school grounds and planted willows in a wetland area to treat polluted water from a local cider plant.

Teacher Judith Sandercock says: "The success has inspired some of our juniors, who are working with Wiggly Wigglers, a company that produces worms and composting kits. We're now investigating the composting of farm manure and exotic manure from Bristol Zoo, which the children call zoo poo."

Another of last year's winners, St Patrick's Girls Academy of Dungannon in northern Ireland, has entered again this year. As part of its winning entry, pupils created a pond and woodland area in derelict space, working with children with learning difficulties as well as with local businesses.

Further information about the competition from the Living Earth Foundation, 4 Great James St, London WClN 3DA. Tel: 0171 242 3816

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