Two passionate primary schools have been working had to do their bit for the environment.

Children from Archbishop of York Junior School built bird boxes to protect wildlife while New Earswick Primary carried out litter picks to clean up their community.

And both are worthy entrants into this year's Best Primary School Project in the Community Pride awards.

The bird box project involved 56 Year 6 pupils visiting Bishopthorpe Palace, in York, to carry out a workshop as part of their Young Leaders Award community action project.

Nine of the students came up with the idea of making bird-boxes to be donated to various places within the Bishopthorpe village, including Bishopthorpe Palace woods, and were helped with the building process by Garry O’Reagan, Bishopthorpe's head gardener.

He said: "It’s great to see young people taking an interest in the natural environment and I’m delighted to be placing one of their home made bird boxes in the grounds of Bishopthorpe.

"There is an exciting variety of birds to be seen in the Palace woods, so hopefully these boxes will provide a valuable home to local wildlife."

Meanwhile, New Earswick Primary School's scheme, which included a DVD urging schoolchildren to stop dropping litter, has been two years in the making, after they took part in the parish council's litter pick and were shocked by what they found.

James Woodward, who nominated the school, said: "They thought it would be good to do something about it because it was making the village look untidy, especially on the green where everyone who drives through can see it.

"They wrote an action plan and decided that they would contact City of York Council to see if someone could visit to help them find out more about the problem and how to tackle it.

"They also had the idea of making a DVD to show to pupils in two local secondary schools to try to stop them dropping so much litter when they eat their lunch outside the local shops or on the green."

The Community Pride awards are run by The Press with City of York Council, and sponsored by Benenden Health.

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