On Friday 23rd June 2023, 4 year 9 students passionate about saving the environment, Emilia, James, Aarib and I attended the first annual CORVS event with Mr. Powell, Head of Geography. CORVS1 was a climate conference organised by the Ribble Valley Climate Action Network and hosted by Stonyhurst College.
It was great to see the number of schools involved and enthusiastic about saving our beautiful planet – schools such as Ribblesdale High School, Bowland High School, Pleckgate School, St Cecilia’s High School, Oakhill College and St Augustine’s RC High School.
Speeches were made by organisations such as Ribble Rivers Trust, an organisation that works to protect the Ribble River for wildlife and the public. A part about that speech that I found interesting was what a difference a few trees in a riverside habitat made, increasing the population of the fish and amount of water in the river. I thought it really showed how ecosystems depend on every little aspect to thrive and how small differences that barely cause anyone to go out of their way can make such a positive difference to an environment that needs help.
Another speaker was Miranda Barker, an environmental consultant and Chief Executive of the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, and the Chamber’s Director of Sustainability, Stephen Sykes. Climate analyst Sylvester Bamkole also made an appearance on video.
There were stalls set up by different climate action organisations explaining how they are all making a difference in their own way, and you can too, such as holding an event in a community where any spare home-grown fruit and veg could be placed outside homes where anyone could take them, to encourage others to share in a community and grow their own veg. Each speech and presentation was inspiring and showed just how much damage climate change has done and will do to the planet, along with what we can do to assist this major problem which is happening everywhere.
A wonderful and inclusive part of the day was when students from each school got up and read out pledges for what they are going to do in the future. This included things such as putting recycling bins in schools, arranging school uniform donations for uniforms that can be reused by other students instead of being thrown away, as our school already has. Our school has pledged to:
- Make the school carbon neutral within the next five years
- Write to parents and our local MP to inform them of our plans and encourage them to support schools in this work
- Work to stop single-use plastic in school on both sites and making sure electrical appliances are turned off when not in use, on both sites
- Develop dedicated green spaces/student garden spaces
- Purchase a digital weather station to collect local weather data over time to show the changing patterns of climate
It would also be beneficial to the school and the planet if we could have a regulars meetings of a climate group of dedicated students to make sure the school stays passionate and true to this cause so that together, we can make a real difference.
If you are interested in helping with this important and pressing issue at home, you could look at websites such as https://takethejump.org/ which was presented on posters at the event. On there you will find useful ideas for changes to benefit the planet and you, in the short and long term. A key thing learned from this day is that small changes can make much-needed difference in a beautiful world that needs everyone’s input and help.
The articles below have been in the news.
Florence Plested McHugh