Axminster school reduces carbon footprint

AXMINSTER Community Primary School is working to try and reduce its carbon footprint.

AXMINSTER Community Primary School is working to try and reduce its carbon footprint.

The school, alongside Devon County Council's sustainable school travel team, has launched a carbon challenge to try to reduce the number of cars being used for the school journey.

Pupils are being encouraged to walk and cycle, or car share, to encourage healthier, safer and more independent children.

Head teacher Tony Harvell said: "We have been very successful as a school in achieving recognition for our sustainability programme, being one of just 10 primary schools nationally to win The Generation Green Solar Panel project.

"This was a significant step in helping to reduce our carbon footprint and we are delighted to now be taking the Carbon Challenge, with sustainable school travel advisers in Devon, to reduce our footprint further. We are confident we will meet that challenge."

County councillor for Axminster Andrew Moulding said the school entrance tended to be congested in the mornings and afternoons, and hopes this initiative will keep traffic moving.

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He said: "I am extremely pleased that staff and pupils at Axminster community Primary School are rising to the Carbon Challenge.

"Statistics show that a large number of students can consider undertaking the journey to and from school in a way which will reduce the carbon footprint, while improving their health through increased exercise."

The children will be taking part in a series of events throughout the school year, starting with Carbon Challenge Day on November 20. Pupils have designed a large banner to display outside the school and they will produce leaflets to go out to parents.

More than 90 pupils currently travel to school by car and 41 of these live within 800 metres of the school, which is the typical walking distance for primary school.

This produces some 73.5kg of C02 per day from travel alone - which amounts to around 14 tonnes a year.

Roger Croad, DCC cabinet member for environmental and regulatory services, believes the scheme will highlight the importance of thinking locally and globally.