Cumbria Eco Forum

edited May 2022 in Resources

We include the following to show what other EcoForums do.

The Cumbria Eco Forum team would like to see every school in Cumbria engaged in environmental activities but know that starting out can be daunting. Through the eco-connections hub they want to link the plethora of experience available within their local community and connect schools to support each other. They also want to provide best case examples of initiatives happening across the county and create an information portal with a calendar of events. They promise to do the hard research work so young people can get on with the action!


  1. To have every school in Cumbria engaged in environmentalism. Supported by
    1. An eco-connections hub – support and information resource for schools starting out or at any stage in their environmental journey.
    2. Start up grants for environmental initiatives.
  2. To celebrate and reward the best schools in the county through an annual competition.

Start-Up Grants for Schools

Finding start-up funds for new initiatives is often the first hurdle that enthusiastic schools face when starting or expanding environmental initiatives. This is an opportunity for schools with an idea to apply for a start-up grant valued between £100 and £500.


There are four award categories, with all entries automatically entered into the Cumbrian Environmental School of the Year Award. Our winners will be chosen by a panel of judges (yet to be announced). Each award will come with a financial prize.

Within School Action Award

This award is for demonstrable impact either through a single initiative or a range of activities that take place within the schools boundary to lower the school’s environmental footprint and safeguard the school environment.


School in the Community Award

Pivotal in the wider community, we know that schools have influence far beyond their fence lines. This award is for schools or pupils engagement in environmentalism beyond the school perimeter.


The One World Award

Recognising our place in a global community, this award celebrates action and engagement in global environmentalism, specifically for overseas initiatives where a school has been involved.


The Eco-Innovation Award

This award celebrates the best innovative environmental activities in schools.


Cumbria Eco Forum Team

Dr Emily Fitzherbert

Emily spent the first 15 years of her career as an interdisciplinary conservation biologist working on finding evidenced based solutions to conservation issues ranging from economics of sustainable Oil Palm production to using traditional institutions to halt lion killing. In 2013 she returned with her daughter to her home in Cumbria and trained to be a teacher. She has worked in schools across the county and currently teaches Biology at the Lakes School. She is passionate about linking her environmental conservation with education. She has led fieldwork expeditions for students both locally and internationally. She was a National Geographic Explorer and currently sits on the committee for the Royal Geographical Society’s regional division. A keen (although slow) fell runner and paddle boarder she wouldn’t want to live anywhere else in the UK.

David Guthrie

David has been a safari operator in Tanzania for 30 years. His passion for the wildlife and people of Tanzania quickly led him into community-based conservation work and he has played a significant role in highlighting the plight of the nation’s embattled elephant population, whilst running community projects such as Doctors on Safari.

He has also worked with national parks and community members in Slovakia, focusing on human/bear conflict issues around mountain resort towns.

Schools environmental education has increasingly become his focus and he is commencing programmes to connect students from around the world with their natural environment and with each other.

The Cumbrian schools eco awards and forum evolved as a result of his shock at the lack of government support or recognition for those schools intent on reducing their individual footprint. He hopes it will help pull together the burgeoning community of concerned and mobilised folk, all of whom share the dream of a county full of truly global citizens who understand the impact of their actions on the planet.

More about the Eco Team


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