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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Wild days out: NI schools competition launched

Dianne Keys, Lana Haughian with mum Emma Haughian.

Pictured are Dianne Keys, Lana Haughian with mum Emma Haughian.

The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) and Hughes Insurance have launched a competition for schools across Northern Ireland to win ‘Wild Days Out’.

The events which highlight the importance of conservation education within schools, aim to inspire the next generation to care for and protect green spaces through a range of fun activities. From bug hunting to den building, seed planting, nature-based crafts, and outdoor games, Wild Days Out also support young children to learn new skills, become more adventurous and grow in confidence.


As part of its ongoing partnership with TCV, Hughes Insurance is inviting schools to win one of two action-packed days through a province-wide competition. Open to all Primary 5 classes, schools must submit a poster and 100 words on how they could benefit from the experience and why they should be chosen to receive a visit from TCV.


Dianne Keys, Operations Lead at The Conservation Volunteers said:

“We believe it’s crucial to educate children on pressing issues facing the environment and preservation therein. It's not just about sharing knowledge, instead we’re committing to nurture future generations and inspire them to take action to protect our much-loved green spaces for years to come.”


In addition to Wild Days Out, TCV’s partnership with Hughes Insurance is taking steps towards reforestation in Northern Ireland with plans laid to grow 50,000 to 77,000 native trees at TCV’s Tree Nursery at the Ulster Folk Museum in Cultra. The funding provided will enhance local biodiversity and protect local species by providing food and shelter for small birds and mammals including the much-loved Red Squirrel.


Dianne continues: "Unfortunately, Northern Ireland is facing a major threat to its tree species, with tree cover currently sitting at 8 per cent, one of the lowest in all of Europe.

"We’re delighted to be partnering with Hughes Insurance to protect and nurture our native trees. The funding will also enhance our community engagement programme including volunteering opportunities which enable our staff to connect and engage with communities and together create positive environmental change.”


The Hughes Insurance funding is part of its Action for Impact initiative – a £100,000 commitment to various charities and organisations to deliver on its Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) agenda in 2023 and beyond. The initiative, designed to support communities, also improves employee wellbeing with up to 250 employees delivering over 3,500 hours of volunteering across the province over the coming months.


Emma Haughian, Senior Marketing Manager at Hughes Insurance, said:

“Our core values to Act Responsibly, Put People First, and Make Things Better, are at the heart of our partnership with TCV and we’re proud to support the work being carried out at its Tree Nursery, contributing to Northern Ireland’s reforestation journey. The initiative is important in restoring ecosystems that are essential for native species, and the Wild Days Out opportunity is a positive step in educating young people on how to care for and enhance green spaces for all to enjoy.”


The TCV and Hughes Insurance Wild Days Out competition is now open. Entries will close on Friday 27th October. To find out more on how to enter and for terms and conditions visit:


For more information on TCV’s work visit


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