Bin wagon artwork competition winners revealed

The winners of an exciting competition for school pupils to design climate emergency artwork to appear on the side of South Lakeland District Council’s (SLDC) bin wagons have been chosen.

The judging panel said they were “blown away” by the quality of the 100-plus entries from primary and secondary schools across South Lakeland.

The two overall winners will have the excitement of seeing their inspirational and colourful designs emblazoned onto the side of lorries from the SLDC bin wagon fleet, to be seen by thousands of people as they travel around the district every day. Congratulations go to:

Thomas Iveson's winning design

Thomas Iveson, Year 5, Langdale CE School – winner of the Years 5 & 6 category


Monika Witkow's winning design

Monika Witkowicz, Year 8, Cartmel Priory CE School – winner of the Years 7 & 8 category.


Pupils from schools throughout South Lakeland were invited to create a poster inspiring people to take action, while giving “a clear and hopeful message” of how a low-carbon world can benefit us all. The council worked with experts from The University of Manchester to launch the competition, which attracted 68 entries from primary schools and 36 from secondary schools.

Cllr Dyan Jones, SLDC’s Climate Emergency and Localism Portfolio Holder, who was one of the competition judges, said: “Huge thanks to everyone who entered the competition, and congratulations to winners Monika and Thomas. We had a bit of a challenge on our hands picking outright winners because the standard of entries overall was very good with clearly much thought gone into each of the designs.

“I am really looking forward to seeing them travelling around the district on the side of our bin wagons. What a great way to show off and share your important messages and super images!”

One of SLDC's four key priorities is responding to climate change and enhancing biodiversity, including working to achieve a carbon neutral South Lakeland, and the council’s Climate Change Action Plan can be found at:

The council’s Sustainability Specialist, Hannah Girvan, said: “We’ve been blown away by the quality of entries for this competition. The students really understand the challenges of climate change and the need for everyone to play their part in finding the solutions.

“This fits in so well with climate change being a priority for the council and we will be showing these posters around the district, with the winners being put on the side of our bin lorries from early May. Along with this we will be using some of the other posters in our social media campaigns and hopefully putting up an exhibition in Kendal Town Hall when restrictions are lifted. I’d like to thank all the students and schools for taking part.”

Here are the comments from the competition’s judging panel:

Researcher Dr Laura Leay, based at The University of Manchester’s Dalton Cumbrian Facility, part of the Dalton Nuclear Institute: “The pupils set us such a big challenge to pick just one winner from each category; there were so many great ideas and some impressive works of art. I really enjoyed looking through the entries, and judging the competition really gave me some food for thought about how science and art can inspire people.

“The winning posters really grabbed our attention and gave a clear, positive message about how we could make a difference to the climate emergency. We thought they’d look great on the side of a bin lorry and would really make people think about the actions they can take to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.”

Claire Brown, PhD Researcher at Manchester’s Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research: “I was so impressed by the passion and artistic skills of all the entries for this poster competition. It is sometimes difficult to convey the message of climate change, but the winners in both categories have captured it in a unique and striking way. Well done.”

Artist Jeni McConnell of local climate change action group PEAT: “It was wonderful to see how creative the entrants had been, finding their own individual ways to express such a complex subject. Clearly a lot of hard work was put into these submissions and that's made it really challenging to decide the winner. Well done to everyone involved.”

Joe Cassidy, Business Development Manager at Newsquest Cumbria: “It was clear to see that the children who entered are very talented and all should be very proud of their posters. I want to say a huge well done and congratulations to both Monika and Thomas; both poster designs scored extremely high in the marking criteria and their schools should be very proud of them. Their posters were eye-catching and engaging and I'm sure both of them will be very excited to see their winning designs appearing on their local bin wagons.”