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PICTURES: Pupils at Inverness-shire school battle air pollution

By Neil MacPhail

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CHILDREN from an Inverness-shire primary school had the thrill of seeing their designs for promoting clean air made into banners and displayed in the school grounds.

As part of Clean Air Day celebrations in June, Farr Primary and Nursery pupils took part in a school walk around the local woods, and Dr Bike from Velocity community café and bicycle workshop in Inverness came out to support the children in maintaining their bikes.

The school then ran a competition to design a banner to encourage parking away from the school to lessen air pollution and encourage more active travel to and from school.

Pupils in P5-7 worked in groups to create a design and a slogan, and designs by William Forbes and Jonathan Matheson, and Hannah Forster, Ottie Ogilvie and Phoenix Huxtable-Reid were chosen to be made into banners.

Acting head teacher Suzanne Dunbar said: “We wanted to raise awareness of idling engines and encourage families to cycle, scoot, walk or use the school bus more often or park in the school woods and walk the rest of the way.

“Environmental Protection Scotland provide materials for schools to help them learn and teach about climate issues and they shared an opportunity to create a school banner.

“The children were very excited about making their banners and spent a long time thinking about their designs and slogans.

“The banners will hopefully act as a reminder for our families and the local community, making them think twice about how they travel to and from school. This should be made easier with the works to create a path in the local area, allowing children and local residents a safe way to travel on foot or bike.

“Our children are very aware of the impact they have on the local environment and have taken part in activities such as the John Muir Award to give something back and are keen to maintain the fantastic environment that we have in our local area.”

William and Jonathan went for an animal theme as they fear animals are affected by pollution too, and both said they were delighted to see their banners on display after their hard work.

Hannah, Ottie and Phoenix said they were proud of having their work on display, and they recognised that children with their smaller lungs are more liable to be affected by air pollution.

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