A project jointly run by De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) academics calling on communities to look after their water supplies culminated in a giant show of pupil power in a Leicester park.
School winners with Daniel Coles, Steve Walsh, Dr Riley, Filbert Fox and Alex Cameron
DMU is co-ordinator of the EU-funded POWER – Political and Social Awareness on Water and Environmental Challenges, which aims to raise awareness about flood risk as well as the need to save water and tackle marine pollution.
POWER, which also involves Leicester City Council as a member, joined forces with Keep Britain Tidy and EcoSchools for an event which saw more than 200 pupils march through Leicester’s Abbey Park chanting and waving banners as part of a campaign to highlight the problems caused by littering.
Banners bore slogans including ‘Don’t be bitter pick up your litter’ and ‘The only answer to litter is you’. The pupils were joined by Leicester City mascot Filbert Fox and Leicester City legend Steve Walsh.
The school children were handed certificates for taking part in several litter picks which saw them accumulate 750 kilos of litter. They then found out who the winners were of a poster competition run by DMU, the city council and EcoSchools.
The brief for the posters was to get people to think more about how littering damages the environment, including the harm it causes to wildlife and the way it increases the risk of flooding.
The winning schools were Inglehurst Junior School, Church Hill School and Dovelands Primary.
Dovelands pupils Oliver Fleetwood, 9, Kye Randerwala, 9, and Grace Hansrani, 8, all played a part in designing their poster which will now be turned into a large banner to display in Leicester parks.
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Kye, whose poster included pictures of ducks, said: “You do not want ducks to die. They have done nothing wrong. They just want to find food. If they get stuck in plastic litter it will cause harm.”
Oliver said: “The main point of the poster is that every piece of litter that you drop can harm an animal and the environment. Do not litter. Put your rubbish in a recycling bin.”
Leicester is one of four pilot cities taking part in the DMU-led POWER project.
POWER coordinator and DMU senior research fellow Dr Janet Riley, who was at the event, said: “It is great to get young people involved and understand how precious water is.
“They are also helping to spread the word that litter harms the water environment and causes flooding. The pupils can take that message home to their families and friends.”
Alex Cameron, from Leicester City Council, said: "Littering can affect our waterways, blocking outlets and trash screens which have the potential to increase flooding but it is also about how our waterways look. Stopping littering is key to our city. We want our waterways looking the best for residents and visitors."
Fellow city council member Daniel Coles added: "POWER brings together the academic research with our work at the city council and enables us to look at future projects to work on together."
Posted on Tuesday 26th March 2019