Youngsters go green for the day

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Young eco warriors have been doing their bit to go green as part an environmental awareness day.

Hundreds of students from Bede Academy in Blyth, took part in a range of outdoor activities helping community organisations across the region.

More than 170 year 8 students spent the day at Ministeracres Retreat in Northumberland, where they were given tasks to complete including thistle bashing, grass cutting, fence mending, bird box making and undertaking a survey on the local wildlife.

Head of science, Dr Craig Sams, said: “Each year we hold an environment day to get our students out of the classroom and into the local community to help undertake a variety of jobs.

“It gives our students a better understanding of how they can help to make a positive difference within their own community and also learn about the environment at the same time.”

A former 18th century manor house, Ministeracres is a retreat open to the public that sits in a 110 acre estate surrounded by grasslands, parks, lakes and ancient woodland.

It boasts the largest collection of giant redwood trees in the UK and is reputed to have been visited frequently by The Duke of Wellington.

Minsteracres manager Geoff Bockett said: “We try to manage the estate in traditional ways by maintaining our meadows to encourage insects and small mammals, birds and wild flowers.

“In addition to restoring the meadows and woodland we also try to raise environmental awareness so school visits like this are very important to help the students re-connect with the natural world.

“If young people become interested in their environment at this age they will usually carry that interest on into later life.”

Olivia Logan, 13, from Blyth, added: “This is the first time I’ve done anything like this and it has been really good.

“It’s important that we learn how to look after places like this and keep them nice for the future.”

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