Young climate change warriors meet with councillors at City Hall
PUBLISHED: 18:17 22 May 2019 | UPDATED: 11:59 23 May 2019
A team of mini activists have been quizzing councillors and suggesting ways in which Norwich can be a more environmentally-friendly city.
Around 20 home-educated youngsters from across the county, aged between three and eight years old, presented handwritten letters to City Hall councillors to express their concerns on climate change,
Mum Toyah Dye, 38, from East Runton, said the children were inspired by the recent demonstrations of the environmental movement Extinction Rebellion and also of David Attenborough's Our Planet, which highlighted the effects of climate change in the natural world.
Ms Dye said the children were particularly struck by a scene in the series which showed walruses in Russia climbing and falling from a cliff due to the retreating sea ice.
"I was watching Our Planet with my children and the walruses made us really sad," Ms Dye said. "So I asked my daughter 'what can we do?' and suggested writing a letter to councillors."
After getting in touch with other home-educated families, the group of youngsters put their thoughts down on paper and hand delivered their letters to councillors at City Hall on Wednesday.
Beatrice Grace Bennett, six, wrote in her letter: "Help us recycle more. Our planet is heating up and our environment is changing."
Seven-year-old Matilda Toms wrote: "Excuse me government, please can you try and stop the litter? And also try your hardest to stop climate change and we will do our best."
After a short demonstration outside City Hall with a banner and cardboard walruses, the children grilled Green councillors Jamie Osborn and Lesley Grahame and Labour councillors Cate Oliver, Ian Stutley and Kevin Maguire in a meeting, where they also discussed ideas on how to make Norwich a more green city.
Mr Osborn said: "These children are truly inspiring, and we should take hope from how engaged they are and how openly families now discuss climate change, the topic that will shape their future.
"Unless we act now, and in a big way, children's lives around the world will be threatened by food insecurity, flooding, extreme weather, and worse.
"We have to go beyond party politics if we are to tackle the climate crisis."