Nature artist Gordon D’Arcy launched the Green-Schools Travel poster display at Loughrea Library on Tuesday, November 22. Gordon delivered an art workshop on migratory animals to over 30 students from schools working on the Green-Schools Travel theme: Attymon N.S., Kiltullagh N.S., Kiltartan N.S. and Bullaun N.S. Posters on display from the schools depicted sustainable modes of transport to school and information on climate change. Caitríona Cunningham, Green-Schools Travel Officer complimented the participants on the excellent standard of their work. Caitríona explained that the Green-Schools Travel theme encourages students, parents and teachers to walk, cycle, scoot, Park ‘n’ Stride, use public transport or car pool instead of using the private car on the school run.

On the day, Gordon sketched and coloured two migratory birds: the redwing and the fieldfare and two migratory fish: the eel and salmon. The redwing and the fieldfare visit Ireland from Scandinavia during the winter, and they feed on worms and other invertebrates, and berries from trees such as the Rowan, Hawthorn and Blackthorn. It is important to leave berries from these trees intact during the winter. The European eel is critically endangered because its numbers have declined drastically in recent years. Eels live in freshwater and breed in the ocean, the Sargasso sea (catadromous). The salmon live in the sea and breed in freshwater (anadromous).

An Taisce has been working on the national Green-Schools Travel theme, which focuses on promoting sustainable travel on the school run, since September 2008. The Travel theme is funded by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and supported by the National Transport Authority. To date, over 1900 primary and secondary schools countrywide have taken part or are taking part in the Green-Schools Travel theme, implementing sustainable travel action plans in their schools. Since 2008, 1,506 schools have been awarded the Green Flag for Travel, representing successful completion of the Travel theme of the Green-Schools programme.