Wokingham students create pollution posters for air quality

WOKINGHAM BOROUGH COUNCIL has received a further £125,000 to tackle air pollution in Wokingham borough.

Its air quality improvement project has been extended, after the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) allocated the latest grant.

DEFRA has distributed the funding in a bid to support local authorities who are developing their own air quality measures.

In the past, the borough council has used the Department’s funding to employ an eco-travel officer, who helps schools across the borough encourage active travel.

They recently worked with Hawthorns Primary School, inviting pupils to design an air quality poster to encourage drivers to park responsibly.

With more than 100 entries, three winning posters were chosen to be displayed on a banner outside the school.

Sarah Mapleston, a Year 2 teacher at Hawthorns, said: “Our pupils and families have positively engaged with the opportunities that have been provided by the council’s My Journey team, which has allowed us to fully take advantage of the various offerings.

“Our travel surveys have shown that many children wish to walk, cycle or scoot to school and we will continue to encourage this as we know children benefit from having fresh air and exercise.”

The borough council is also working on lessons and activity packs for primary schools
in a bid to teach pupils about air pollution and how to take action.

The My Journey team is also supporting schools which are working towards Modeshift Stars, a national awards scheme that recognises schools working hard to promote active and sustainable travel. It is currently offering schools a £2,000 grant if they achieve accreditation to spend on further active travel resources

Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, executive member for highways and transport and Conservative candidate for Hillside, said: “We are thrilled to have received this grant from DEFRA that will allow our My Journey team to continue to help schools promote the benefits of active travel.

She said it will help promote children’s health and concen-tration, while improving air quality across the borough.

“It is great to hear that schools around the borough are continuing to work towards their Modeshift stars and how pupils have been walking, cycling and scooting to school more,” Cllr Jorgensen added.

“I cannot wait to visit, when restrictions allow, to congratulate them in person for their hard work and see them in action when our My Journey classes can recommence.”

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