Children from schools in and around Warwick and Leamington lead the way for Clean Air Day

Clean Air Day, which took place on June 17, aims to highlight the negative impacts of air pollution on people's health and the importance of everyone playing a part to improve the air quality

Friday, 25th June 2021, 4:07 am

Hundreds of local school children lead the way towards a greener future by taking part in Clean Air Day last week..

Clean Air Day, which took place on June 17, aims to highlight the negative impacts of air pollution on people's health and the importance of everyone playing a part to improve the air quality.

Pupils from Barford St Peter’s Church of England Primary School, Emscote Infant School, Milverton Primary School, Newburgh Primary School and Whitnash Primary School took part in a variety of activities to encourage parents to switch off idling engines or look at alternative and more healthier ways of travelling to school.

Ignaty Dyakov-Richmond from Clean Air for Leamington outside Morrisons. Photo supplied
Ignaty Dyakov-Richmond from Clean Air for Leamington outside Morrisons. Photo supplied

The five schools also benefitted from the installation of an air quality monitoring device by AQMesh to show how pollution levels vary during the day and to encourage parents to use alternative methods of travel. The data from these monitoring systems will be collated and shared with the schools shortly.

Cllr Alan Rhead, portfolio holder for climate change, said: “I am pleased to confirm that Warwick District Council and Stratford District Council have partnered with AQMesh – a local Stratford Company – to install air quality monitoring pods at six primary schools as part of this years’ national Clean Air Day.

“With over 36,000 deaths in the UK attributed to air pollution it is important to study air quality on school streets and Barford St Peters School is one of six primary schools chosen for this important study.

"Parents and suppliers will be encouraged to stop their vehicles from idling outside the school as one measure of this air quality initiative.”

(Left to Right) Mrs Carson, Bethan Williams, Anna Heath-Kime, Isla Cullen and Harvey Evans from Barford St Peter’s with portfolio holder for climate change Alan Rhead. Photo supplied

Pupils at Barford St Peter’s took part in the day as part of their Environment Week.

Class teacher Mrs Carson said: “David Attenborough said himself, ‘If we help nature to recover it will help us clean our air, bring back bees and other pollinators and lock away carbon, helping us tackle climate change and improve all our lives.’

“Therefore, at Barford St. Peter’s we have been looking closely at these wise words by encouraging pollinators, making environmental pledges, collecting traffic surveys of our village, creating Clean Air superheroes, writing persuasive letters and creating posters highlighting the importance of clean air for all of living things.

"We are looking forward to seeing the data collected by the monitor and working with local businesses to support us in our quest to become even more eco-friendly.”

Mrs Carson, Isla, Bethan, Anna from Barford St Peter’s Church of England Primary School, and Cllr Rhead outside the school with the AQMesh air quality monitor. Photo supplied

The council also worked with community campaign groups Clean Air for Leamington and Clean Air Warwick to target ‘fuelish’ idlers and encourage people to switch off their idling engine when stationary.

Clean Air Warwick were campaigning in Warwick’s Market Square with leaflets and pledge cards, and Clean Air for Leamington held a stall at Morrisons supermarket in Leamington, engaging with shoppers on the benefits of switching off.

Cllr Judy Falp, portfolio holder for health and community protection, added: “It’s important that to tackle this issue and improve air quality, we work with the community and engage with them directly to take small but measurable steps to make a difference to the air we breathe, such as simply switching off our engine when stationary.

“We will continue to engage with the public to provide advice and guidance to ensure that we are all playing our part in making these improvements.”