Pupils from St Edmund Campion School, in West Bridgford, Nottingham, had their grabbers at the ready to give their local woodland space an autumn clean, for a recent charity litter picking event.
The school regularly uses Sharphill Wood, in Rushcliffe, for outdoor learning and forest-based classes, and decided to take action against the war on rubbish, and get outdoors for a session in litter picking.
On October 10, budding year 5 pupils wrapped up warm and filled over 16 full bin bags of collected waste from the wood – picking up an array of discarded items including cans and bottles, as well as more unusual household objects such as a children’s slide, numerous tents and an electrical cable.
The 64 schoolchildren spent an hour clearing the woodland with teachers and staff, all while learning the importance of looking after green spaces and taking responsibility for the surrounding outdoor world.
The event was initiated by the Friends of Sharphill Wood volunteer group, who were granted funding from TK Maxx and Homesense through the Neighbourly national initiative and TCV.
The national brands have come together for a six-month environmental programme to give out funds from the sale of single-use plastic carrier bags, to over 400 good causes across the UK.
The money raised was used to purchase important equipment for the litter pick, including grabbers, gloves, recycled bags and high-visibility vests.
Graham Jukes, teacher at St Edmund Campion School and leader of the litter pick, said: “The event was a great way of getting the children outdoors, as well as teaching them about how important it is that we look after and maintain our surrounding green areas. With single-use plastics and waste disposal high on the public agenda, it has never been more vital that we show the younger generation the impact it is having on our environment and what we can do to help.
“As a school, we regularly head to Sharphill Wood for lessons in everything wild and outdoors, so the litter pick was a good way to give something back and collaborate with the Friends of Sharphill Wood group.”
Chrissie Wells, treasurer of the Friends’ group, said how wonderful it was to see so many enthusiastic children learning how to look after their environment. She added: “Thanks so much to the staff at St Edmund Campion, especially teacher Graham Jukes, for organising the litter pick. Sharphill Wood is a beautiful but fragile Local Nature Reserve that is an important part of our children’s heritage.”