A group of Coleg Llandrillo students with additional learning needs were presented with environmental awards after taking part in a range of conservation work across North Wales.

Students from the college’s Independent Living Skills (ILS) department spent six weeks tackling several initiatives in tandem with the North Wales Wildlife Trust.

The Foundation B group worked alongside members of the trust this year as part of their group work experience. They took part in conservation work in local nature reserves and finished with a litter pick around the college’s Rhos-on-Sea campus.

They were each presented with the John Muir Award for their contributions. The award is part of an environmental award scheme which encourages people to connect with, enjoy, and care for wild places.

Activities included: exploring the North shore in Llandudno, studying marine life; conservation work at Bryn Pydew reserve, including gorse clearing, building a dead hedge and making and installing bird boxes; exploring the Little Orme, including seal watching with a local volunteer –where they also saw dolphins-; a visit to Cors Goch nature reserve on Anglesey; porpoise watching at Church Bay, and finally, a litter pick.

ILS programme leader, Sian Stephenson, said: “The eight students joined up with Charlotte Keen from the North Wales Wildlife Trust one day a week over a six-week period. The group learnt many new skills and visited places they didn't even know about. They were amazed to see seals, dolphins and porpoises.

"It gave them the opportunity to experience nature and the outdoors, which they rarely do in their everyday lives.

“One of our students, Katie Whitlow, enjoyed the Little Orme visit so much that she took all of her family there the following weekend. Katie has had an amazing year so far, as she was recently elected onto the inaugural Welsh Youth Parliament to represent people with disabilities!”

The ILS department caters for students who have mild to moderate learning disabilities, severe learning disabilities and social and emotional behavioural difficulties.

For more information about Independent Living Skills courses at Coleg Llandrillo, call the college’s Learner Services team on 01492 542 338.