A SCHOOL passionate about caring for the environment have been rewarded with a prestigious Eco Schools Green Flag.

Saint Francis Xavier School in Richmond is the first secondary school in North Yorkshire to be awarded the flag after taking steps to reduce waste and recycle.

The school has reduced its energy consumption by 23 per cent since 2014/15; reduced its paper usage; and promoted the issue of food waste – since January 2018 a lunchtime recycling system has been in place which includes the composting of raw food waste and measuring the total food wasted to see if this can be reduced.

It has also carried out more than 50 litter picks in the school grounds; planted more than 3,000 spring bulbs and making plans to create a wildflower meadow; and stopped selling single use plastic bottles and single use plastic sachets and replacing them with dispensers.

Margaret Land, who runs the eco team at the school, said: "I'm passionate about caring for the environment and it is so important to get the students to care.

"We are working to wards being a plastic-free school."

She gave thanks to GCH grounds maintenance and Richmond Town Council for their support in the project.

The school has recently signed up for the Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Schools Award and will be working towards this goal over the next 12 months.