AS part of last month's World Environment Day celebrations, Berkshire's nuclear weapons factory challenged local pupils to encourage biodiversity by building a bug hotel.

The Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) has since announced its competition winners as Sofia Eckton, Year 4, from Bishopswood Junior School, Tadley, and Maisie Garton, Year 5, from Sulhamstead and Ufton Nervet Primary School.

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Maisie and Sofia’s winning entries were selected for producing bug hotels that encouraged insects through their structure and clever use of materials.

Both Sofia and Maisie won den kits for their efforts in making their community more wildlife friendly.

AWE graduates helped organise the competition that was open to Years 4 and 5 pupils in North Hampshire and West Berkshire.

Two education charities, Education Business Partnership, West Berkshire and Basingstoke Consortium were involved with circulating entries to ensure local schools had the opportunity to enter.

Philippa Kent, AWE’s Community Engagement Manager, said: “AWE is committed to keeping environmental issues in the spotlight and we’re proud to support local schools and help spread the message of the importance of our natural environment through events such as this.

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"Our graduates showed great ingenuity in organising the competition during exceptional circumstances.”

Lucas Green, one of AWE’s engineering graduates involved with the competition, said: “All the entries received were completed to such a high standard and showed so much creativity.

"There was plenty of positive feedback and we hope it provided some innovative learning to students during school closures.”