Pupils visit Letchworth school for UK’s first Plant-for-the-Planet academy

CHILDREN took their and the planet’s future into their own hands when pupils from more than 20 schools descended on Letchworth GC yesterday (Monday) for a UK first.

Following a nine-year-old German boy’s idea four years ago to plant one million trees in his native country, the message behind Plant-for-the-Planet was heard at St Christopher School in the first ‘power academy’ to be staged in the country.

Five students from the Barrington Road school were joined by founder Felix Finkbeiner’s two sisters as they presented

the scheme’s plan of action - reducing carbon emissions to zero by 2050, establishing ‘climate justice’ to reduce poverty, and planting 500 billion trees - during the UK’s inaugural Climate Week.

Acting as climate justice ambassadors, the pupils told the audience to ‘stop talking’ and ‘start planting’ as they hope to repeat the feat achieved in Germany by planting one million trees in the UK, in a movement that now has support from children in 91 countries and is backed by supermodel Gisele Bundchen, HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai.

Year 8 pupil Margot King, one of those who made the presentation, said: “I got involved because I’m really interested in saving the world. It’s really inspirational because it’s useful to all of us.”

Felix’s sister, 14-year-old Franziska Finkbeiner, said: “It’s amazing that it’s come to the UK. It’s fun to go to other countries and meet other people that want to get involved.”

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St Christopher’s Edwin Gruber, who organised the conference, added: “To us it was an absolutely unique opportunity. So many young people can feel they’ve got a real part to play in this emerging world through this initiative.

“Letchworth is a good place to start as it’s the first garden city in the world and has a great green tradition.”

After participating schools shared their own planting ideas, three fruit trees were planted in the school’s garden, with further planting activities planned for late spring.

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