Children spread the word at school's Eco-Council Day

Alice Singleton

If children are the future, then Lancashire is in safe hands following an Eco-Council day at Brockholes, where around 66 children came to learn all about how they can make a difference to their planet.

Twenty schools from around South Ribble were represented at the WRIST Cluster's Eco-Council Day at Brockholes last week.

Accompanied by like minded teachers and parents, the group had a jam-packed agenda, put together by our education team, all focused around the environment, Climate Emergency, and how we can all do small things to make a big difference.

Challenges

First up, the children, all aged between 9 and 11 years old, were asked what challenges face our planet at the moment. Their responses were full of knowledge and understanding and included:

"Climate Change is when it can be rainy and then it suddenly goes really hot, and that makes the sea level rise."

"Plastic Pollution is a problem because people are buying more plastic and that's going to waste, and when the tide comes in, the plastic is going in the sea."

Landfill sites and Greenhouses Gasses were also brought up, as well as the more specific issues such as Bush Fires in Australia.

Plastic Marine

Plastic Free

The groups were split in two, calling themselves the Eco-Warriors and the Eco-Superheroes respectively. One half went on a walk to the Look Out to make bird feeders out of Cheereos, while one group stayed in the Meadow Lake Suite and created marine creatures out of plastic waste. 

From jellyfish to hump back whales, the group used recycled plastic found and cleaned at Brockholes, to highlight the issue of plastic waste to our marine life. The children took on the challenge and many said they would recreate the exercise at school, to highlight to their classmates what could happen if they do not recycle their packaging.

Minibeast Hunt

Tiny creatures

One group headed off into the woodland with our education leaders to conduct a minibeast hunt. Searching high on tree trunks and right down under rocks to see what creatures they could find and understand the importance of these tiny beings to our wonderful eco-system. The groups were getting their hands and feet dirty while searching the soil and shouts of 'I've found a worm' could be heard across the whole reserve! 

The Time Is Now

While learning about the environment and the issues facing our planet, the children went to take matters into their own hands; a move taken by conservationists and wildlife enthusiasts worldwide, just look at Greta Thunberg! 

The groups made their own slogan banners by using natural dyes (squashed raspberries) and mud, and spent a good while deciding on their main point of contention. While some went for the plastics angle, some headed more towards stopping deforestation and saving the trees.

What was arguably the highlight of the day, was the children then marching in protest from the woodland back to the Visitor Village, imitating the Westminster The Time Is Now protest.

Pledge to make a change

After an eco-lunch time, where children were asked to bring as little waste as possible, the candidates were asked to make a pledge to how they will make a small change to make a big difference to the entire planet. Ideas from 'think before laminating', 'cycle to school' and 'recycle more' all the way to 'stop using clingfilm' were added to the pledge tree by students and teachers alike.

Pledge Tree

The whole day showed how the issue of Climate Change and Ecological issues throughout the world are affecting people as young as 9-years-old, and not only that, they are understanding the problems and wanting to make a change. Just like Greta Thunberg herself, the young people in the UK, and more specifically, in Lancashire, are ready to change the world - one small step at a time.

Thank you to the WRIST Cluster School Groups for bringing your Eco-Conference to Brockholes, and to our education team for pulling together an educational adventure for our young eco-warriors.