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28 Nov 2021

Local family win My NI Climate Heroes competition

Local family win My NI Climate Heroes competition

Local mother and son, Aine and John Kivlehan, won the competition for their efforts in helping the environment 

After an online poll where the public had to vote for their favourite Climate Hero, local mother and son, Aine and John Kivlehan, won the competition for their efforts in helping the environment. 


They will receive a National Trust voucher to the value of £150. 


Aine and John began growing their own food this year after signing up to the National Lottery funded Acorn Farm 'I can grow' project which involves 250 local families being mentored by a horticulturalist in growing their own fruit and vegetables over an 18-month period. 


Participants have received raised beds, seedlings and guidance on how to nurture their plants.

  
Primary one teacher, Aine Kivlehan, said: "We've never won anything before, so this is a lovely surprise. 


"It's incredibly satisfying eating a meal with ingredients grown in your garden. My son John really enjoys it too and we both find it's a great way to relax. 


"I'm hoping to set up a little gardening club for some local children in the coming months to pass on some of the lessons we've learned as part of the wonderful Acorn Farm 'I can grow' project. We are just so delighted to be part of this and to be given the opportunity to do something so positive for our environment." 


Having done a little bit of growing in the past, Aine was excited to see the Acorn Farm 'I can grow' project's call out for interest to people in the Derry City and Strabane District area and signed up to be part of it.  


"John really loves checking on the veg and watering the plants and I've enjoyed getting some tips from the horticulturalist which I've passed onto friends. It's lovely being able to lift something from your back garden and bring it into the kitchen to cook for dinner. 


"It has been catching too with neighbours popping over to have a look and being inspired to give growing a go themselves." 


Mayor Warke congratulated the pair, saying, "It fills me with pride to see a local family like the Kivlehans doing their bit for the environment and turning their hand to growing their own food. 


"Not only is this a lovely bonding activity for families, but it saves money and helps our environment too, reducing our reliance on importing fruit and vegetables from farther afield. This helps cut carbon emissions and eases the pressures on nature. 


"One of the positive things about the pandemic is how it has prompted people to connect to nature and start thinking about the journey of food and how we can become more self-sufficient and sustainable.” 

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