Eco Warriors getting back to nature with The E.Y.E. Project
The sun shone as 27 schools gathered for a day of environmental learning with a ‘Getting Back to Nature’ theme at the 11th Worthing & Adur Eco Summit hosted by Worthing High School. Around 325 eco warriors from schools across Worthing, Adur and Arun took pledges to help nature and the environment after attending workshops and stalls, and listening to guest speakers.
Around 30 organisations and educators were involved in the day organised by The E.Y.E Project. The Eco Warriors took part in a variety of activities which included: building and racing solar cars with Worthing High School and electric powered carts with Worthing College; kite flying with kite surfer Lewis Crathern; creating small scale reptile hibernacula’s and ponds with Sussex Wildlife Trust; reconstructing a model of the award winning Gridshell building using natural materials with the Weald & Downland Living Museum; becoming dark skies mini-explorers with the South Downs National Park Authority; exploring our local marine wildlife and habitats with the Marine Conservation Society; and water filtering with Southern Water. The event was opened by the project’s Founder Tim Loughton MP, and the High Sheriff of West Sussex and Worthing Town Crier were also involved in the event.
Rampion Offshore Wind Farm, who sponsored the day, gave a presentation about the Offshore Wind Farm construction and engaged pupils with their small scale wind turbines. Schools from a Hampshire Polli:nation Cluster travelled across Counties to share their Pollinator Promise. The event included a produce show, seed sowing activity and a plant swap which instantly attracted butterflies.
Clare Sutton, Project Manager of The E.Y.E Project said “It was fantastic to see the enthusiasm of young people and great to hear that schools and their pupils plan to make changes as a result of what they learned at the event.”
Pledges made by pupils at the end of the day included “Buy locally and try to buy produce that has less plastic packaging” which was inspired by a workshop run by Southern Co-op and Nell Ball Farm. Other pupils pledged to plant more plants for pollinators, to not use single use bottles, and to build small animal habitats in the garden.
Headteacher from Worthing High School said “It has been a great honour and privilege to be able to host the 11th Worthing & Adur Eco Summit at Worthing High School. The opportunity provided to 26 visiting schools was incredible and I was in awe of how passionately our young learners spoke, regarding issues on the Environment and how much they want to improve our world. The E.Y.E Project allows students from secondary and primary schools to tackle very challenging environmental issues, with a view that is will make a change in all our lives. The event was made possible with the support of Patron Tim Loughton MP and this year’s event sponsors Rampion Offshore Wind Farm. We are already looking forward to the next summit.”
The annual event which was the largest ever, was attended by Bohunt School, Bramber Primary School, Broadwater C of E Primary, Chatsmore Catholic High, Davison CE High School, Durrington High School, Eastbrook Primary Academy, English Martyrs Catholic Primary, Ferring C of E Primary, Georgian Gardens Community Primary, Hawthorns Primary School, Heene C of E Primary, Our Lady of Sion Senior School, River Beach Primary, Seaside Primary School, Shoreham College, Sompting Village Primary, St Albans Primary (Hampshire), St Mary’s C of E Primary (Clymping), St Nicolas & St Mary CE Primary, Summerlea Community Primary, The Laurels Primary, Thomas a Becket Junior, The Petersfield School (Hampshire), Warden Park Academy (Haywards Heath), Whytemead Primary School, and both students and Ambassadors from Worthing High School who went in on their inset day. The Worthing & Adur Eco Summit event will return again next summer when it will be hosted by Worthing College.
Some feedback about the day:
Teacher from Hawthorns School: 'immediate feedback says that everyone had a brilliant time - one child has already designed a leaflet for a group that he's going to run each Monday. 'I know that I can make a difference to our planet'. The adults who went were amazed at the smooth running, number of events offered, facilities & were generally very impressed.'
Teacher from Bramber Primary: I’d like to say thank you for such a fantastic Eco Summit! The children I took had a wonderful time, they have felt so inspired already since and organised their own eco meeting during play time! We have eco club on Wednesdays and they were full of ideas for pollination and protecting the bees! Really happy to have them suggest ideas and lead the direction of our club.'
Teacher: 'Thank you for being so prompt, efficient and organised'
Teacher: 'A very friendly event. Schools mixed well together. We enjoyed the hands on approach'
Teacher: 'Thankyou very much for what has clearly been a great deal of work putting on this excellent event'
Teacher: 'It was brilliant'
Teacher: 'The workshops were all very engaging in different ways, pitched at the correct level and promoted discussion'
Pupil pledges 'Reduce my use of single use plastics'; 'Buy locally and try to buy produce that has less packaging' ; 'Plant more plants for pollinators'; Develop Sion School gardens with bees and butterflies in mind'; 'Use much less plastic and turn off lights'