Primary pupils to take part in  High Peak traffic pollution  survey

Taxal and Fernilee pupils with project leader, Rachel Cleveland.
Taxal and Fernilee pupils with project leader, Rachel Cleveland.

Environmentally conscious pupils in the High Peak will monitor how traffic is contributing to climate change by taking part in a special survey.

Pupils at Whaley Bridge and Furness Vale Primary Schools, as well as Taxal and Fernilee C Of E Primary School,are taking part in a citizen science project as part of Whaley Bridge’s Neighbourhood Plan.

The survey will measure ambient and indoor air quality, and exposure to heavy metals around the three local school sites.

Fay Walton, Head Teacher at Whaley Bridge Primary School, said: “Using science and technology, the children will have a unique opportunity to learn more about the impact of our travel choices on the local environment in this very special real-world project. We hope to be able to inspire parents, carers and the wider community to think wisely about how they get out and about, and to make smarter transport decisions that will help our local area for generations to come.” The project s funded by Whaley Bridge Town Council, and the Councillors Initiative Fund of High Peak Borough Council, supported by Councillor David Lomax.

Ken O'Boyle, head of Whaley Bridge Neighbourhood Plan Traffic Group, said: "The original idea was for a school lesson, but this has developed into a larger-scale cross-school project, designed to contribute to the curriculum, and enable local children to get involved in the neighbourhood plan through citizen science.

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"The Cleaner Air Project will be an early introduction to the tools available to civil society, an exercise in democracy and how young people can make a difference to their environment and their own community.

"As a result of the project, we will be able to gather evidence for the need for things such as exclusion zones around schools, idling bans, and measures to ease traffic flow, which might end up being included in our Neighbourhood Plan."

Members of the Traffic Group have received expertise and advice about getting the project off the ground from LSX (London Sustainability Exchange), a registered charity which has hosted similar and successful schemes in the capital city.