Harrogate pupils inspired by COP26 to fill their school with forest of promises

As world leaders take stock after Glasgow’s COP26, pupils and staff at an independent Harrogate school have been vowing to do all they can to help protect the environment.

Monday, 29th November 2021, 9:34 am
Updated Monday, 29th November 2021, 9:36 am
Youngsters at Harrogate's Ashville College have written pledges on one side of a leaf stating what they will do to address the climate crisis.

Ashville College’s foyer is now home to a ‘Forest of Promises’, where individuals from Year 7 through to Upper Sixth have written pledges on one side of a leaf stating what they will do to address the climate crisis.

On the other side, they have penned messages to heads of state citing what action they think they should take to help lower CO2 emissions.

Sign up to our daily Harrogate Advertiser Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Following on from the success of the first Walk to School Day – where 244 Ashville pupils and a number of staff members collectively covered more than 350 miles on foot – the College will be taking part in the second one on Friday, November 19. Again it’s being run in conjunction with Zero Carbon Harrogate.

A week later, it’s Green Jumper Day, another initiative aimed at raising awareness around climate change, educating the next generation, and planting trees. Instead of turning the heating up to keep warm, participants are encouraged to pull on a sweater and make a donation to help Green Jumper achieve its goals.

The timing couldn’t be better as the College is awaiting delivery of 400 trees to plant on campus by the end of the Autumn term, bringing the total planted for the Big Climate Fightback in conjunction with the Woodland Trust to 900 in a year.

In addition, Ashville is taking part in Switch Off Fortnight, a nationwide campaign by the Energy Saving Trust, to save energy by switching off lights and devices across the College campus when not in use.

And since October 28, and until the start of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference on November 22, Ashville pupils have been accessing more than 140 books from 39 publishers.

This is thanks to Exact Editions, which has been working with the International Publishers Association, the Publishers Association and Save The Children, to showcase the titles that span a wide variety of content addressing the urgent and important challenge of climate change.

Brian McHugh, Ashville’s Head of Year 10 who is helping champion many of these initiatives, said: “Thanks to COP26, the world has been well and truly focused on the environment and climate change.

“Our pupils have taken a keen interest in the two-week summit. They fully understand that everyone has their part to play, and even the smallest action can help protect the environment we live in.

“Our Forest of Promises is taking a prominent position in our foyer, and the foliage is getting thicker – and greener – by the day.

"Pupils have written pledges on the leaves, which are anything but empty promises.

“And whilst pupils and staff are participating in a series of green events this month, including Green Jumper Day, and Walk to School Day, the College’s commitment to reduce its impact on the environment is ongoing.”

For more information about Ashville College, please visit www.ashville.co.uk