As COP26 approaches, Rampion Offshore Wind Farm, Sussex Wildlife Trust and Sussex Green Living joined forces to bring children from eight local schools together at the Rampion Visitor Centre on Brighton seafront at an event called ‘Inspiring Sustainable Action in your School’.
This is part of the Brighton & Hove environmental education programme, funded by the council to support all schools in the city become more sustainable.
Children aged seven to eleven (Key Stage 2) from Cottesmore Primary, Goldstone Primary, Hertford Juniors, Middle Street Primary, St Andrews Primary, St John the Baptist Primary, St Peters Primary and Stanford Junior Schools took part in workshops focused on ideas and solutions for climate action to implement over the next academic year, looking at renewable energy, textiles, trees and ecosystems and a whole city biodiversity project.
Action for change
“We asked each school to come up with one action from each of the five workshops that they could implement back at school. We also asked each child to create a leaf that pledged one action they would personally take and one action for World Leaders to take,” said Katie Scanlan, Rampion Visitor Centre Manager.
The leaves will go to COP 26 with WWF as part of their ‘Forest of Promises’, presenting pledges made by students across the UK to world leaders and urging them to make the changes needed to address climate change.
Children’s pledges included such things as eating less meat, walking to school, buying less clothes and not wasting plastic; and they called on world leaders to stop using fossil fuels and to protect trees and oceans.
Reducing their carbon footprint
“It was wonderful to work with other organisations that are passionate about the environment, and inspire eight local schools with ideas for addressing climate change. The children were very enthusiastic and created action plans to help reduce their carbon footprint in their school going forward,” said Katie Eberstein from Sussex Wildlife Trust.
Councillor Hannah Clare, chair of the Children, Young People & Skills committee added: “This is a brilliant way of getting children involved in climate saving action from an early age. It is so important to have their thoughts and voices included at COP, it is their world and their future that climate change will impact most.”
The schools will be supported throughout the year and a follow-up event will be held next summer to find out what the schools have achieved and to celebrate their successes.
Rampion Visitor Centre is a unique free attraction open to the public bringing to life the story of human settlement, technological advancement and population growth, alongside climate change, renewable energy and the construction of Rampion.