Eager Acle youngsters launch school campaign to protect coastal communities
10:24 07 February 2014
A band of eager young campaigners have launched a project to help protect their coastline after witnessing the devastating effects of North Sea erosion.
The 10 and 11-year-olds from Acle St Edmund Primary School were spurred into action after taking a trip to the north Norfolk coast, where they learnt about sea defences and the cost of maintaining them.
They were shocked to discover some councils could not afford the upkeep of defences and decided they had to do something - so have now launched their own fundraising campaign to help protect communities close to them, such as Hemsby, Winterton and Scratby.
And their project became even more important after the devastating December 5 storm surge wrecked homes along the east coast.
The kenn pupils from class 5 and 6 G have now written to parish councils outlining their plans and are busy organising fundraisers, their first being a coffee morning and cake sale next Friday.
Their teacher Kim Gowen said the project has been a great “real-life” topic for the children and it is now forming the centre piece of their classes, as it covers all subjects.
She said: “We’ve been linking it with everything, it’s been completely cross-curricular.
“With literacy they have written to local councils and explained what they’re doing. The response we have had have been brilliant, everyone’s been really touched and said it’s a great idea.
“I’m so impressed with their attitudes and eagerness to help, they are a real asset to the school.”
The children have also been in touch with Lorna Bevan from Save Hemsby Coastline, who said their money would go towards helping the village buy more cement bags.
And they are now getting involved in a research project to help them understand the importance of protecting Hemsby, due to the high number of tourists that visit the area. The youngsters are also set to visit Winterton where they will learn about the village’s status as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
For now however, they are concentrating on their coffee morning and organising future activities, including making badges and key rings, and hope to raise lots of money for their coastal communities.
Miss Gowen said she was “hugely proud” of the children, who had led the project from the start.
“Everyone’s said thank you so much and said ‘your children are so thoughtful’, it’s been really positive,” she added.
The coffee morning is being held in the school hall from 9am - 11am on Friday, February 14. The children and staff will be serving hot and cold drinks, along with homemade cakes and biscuits. Entertainment will be provided by year 5 and 6 diabolo performers.
■ To donate to the pupils’ fund call 01493 750322 or email office@acle- st-edmund.norfolk.sch.uk