Sevenoaks Primary School was the setting for the launch of the Kent Year of Green Action on Wednesday 6th February 2019. Based on the Governments national Defra campaign; the Year of Green Action is an initiative of Kent County Council’s Kent Environment Strategy which maintains a strong and consistent identity for environmental action in Kent. The launch, attended by KCC’s Deputy Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport and Waste, Michael Payne was a fitting tribute to the campaign launch that wants people of all ages and backgrounds to take meaningful environmental action in Kent in 2019.
What is Year of Green Action?
The idea behind the campaign is to encourage the people of Kent, their local communities and organisations to Connect with, Protect or Enhance the environment by providing environmental opportunities for people to back the campaign through the three themes.
The message of the launch, quite aptly was ‘Do something green in 2019’ with school pupils responding to the message with gusto as they helped to create a wildlife pond complete with pond dipping platform, a wonderful Green Action activity which will serve to enhance the environment and provide a lasting green tribute to future generations of children and vitally to protect local wildlife populations.
Environmental Action Coming Together
The event was supported by staff and volunteers from the North West Kent Countryside Partnership who have spent the last few weeks at the school assisting pupils and staff in the creation of the pond with children eager to take a closer look once the wildlife population establishes.
Other special guests were invited to the school to see the pond creation project in action, including Michael Payne, KCC’s Deputy Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport and Waste, and Margaret Crabtree, KCC Member for Sevenoaks Town and Deputy Cabinet Member for Finance.
Mr Payne said: “Kent Year of Green Action supports the ambition of the Kent Environment Strategy, which is to make the most of the county’s unique and diverse environment. It also brings together the many Green Action initiatives that are already taking place across the county. This project is a brilliant example of green action and both the school children and the adult volunteers are having a wonderful time doing their bit for Kent’s natural environment and should be congratulated.”
“Throughout 2019, Kent County Council will be encouraging individuals, families, communities and businesses to take part in Kent Year of Green Action, whether by getting more active outdoors, volunteering or switching to more sustainable behaviour in their daily lives.”
Mrs Crabtree received a request from the school for funding and was delighted to respond positively by providing the money for the project from her KCC Members’ Grant Fund, and said: “This project will make a real difference to the school and I look forward to seeing the wildlife take over the pond and the children having a wonderful first-hand experience of nature for many years to come.”
The North West Kent Countryside Partnership is a not-for-profit organisation, which helps the environment and local community. Sara Spellman from the partnership said: “Working with the school has been a real pleasure for both the school children and our volunteers. North West Kent Countryside Partnership works with schools, local community groups, parish and district councils and private landowners to help the environment and local community.
“Volunteers are vital to what we do, and the Kent Year of Green Action website brings together Countryside Partnership volunteering opportunities across the county, along with events at Country Parks and a wealth of activities from organisations including the Kent Wildlife Trust and many others.”
Sarah Ratcliffe from Sevenoaks Primary School said: “We are grateful to Mrs Crabtree for funding this project from her Members’ Grant Fund and we now have an exciting time coming up and expect a quick colonisation by frogs in the early spring.” Her colleague Kate Perkins said “The children will be keeping a close eye on the pond as different types of wildlife establish themselves across the year. The pond will be a brilliant education resource for many years to come.”