Green-conscious schoolchildren plant first trees to help offset Air Festival carbon footprint

Avonwood school

Schoolchildren have dug deep to help Bournemouth become more green by planting trees at a special ceremony – the first of its kind under a new council-backed project.

The Council pledged to offset the Bournemouth Air Festival carbon footprint created from jet fuel emissions last year after partnering with nationally accredited Carbon Footprint Ltd.

For each tree planted a tonne of carbon will also be saved in the Amazon Rainforest, as part of the partnership, through an avoided deforestation project. This project is audited and certified by the internationally recognised Verified Carbon Standard (VCS).

Last summer aircraft used 95,211 litres of fuel – equating to 240 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

This project forms part of a wider BCP Council-backed commitment following its Climate and Ecological Emergency declaration, last summer. Dedicated officers are working with councillors to deliver the Council’s Climate and Ecological Emergency commitments by way of numerous initiatives, including working towards becoming a plastic-free local authority.

Councillor Lewis Allison, Cabinet member for Tourism, Leisure and Communities, said: “We are so proud to be able to take the first step in this all-important project with the help of Avonwood Primary School children. The school has been very supportive and we’re privileged to be able to plant these trees in their grounds. We will not see the effects of these trees immediately – it will in fact take many years – but it is a small and necessary step towards becoming a more carbon-neutral environment and one these schoolchildren will reap the benefits from.

“This tree-planting ceremony has marked a momentous occasion in our commitment to offset the carbon footprint of all displaying aircraft at last year’s Air Festival. We are dedicated to delivering our Climate and Ecological Emergency Action Plan and this project forms a very important part of that plan.”

Chris Jackson, Headteacher at Avonwood Primary School, said: “All of us at Avonwood Primary School are excited to lend our school grounds to the tree-planting project and to be involved in this fantastic community event. We’re always keen for opportunities like this to help our pupils have a positive impact on their local and global communities as part of providing an Education with Character. Through this initiative, we’ve talked a lot about the importance of being kind, respectful and socially responsible and our children have enjoyed putting this learning into practice. We are all looking forward to watching our saplings grow and helping to create a legacy that will benefit both current and future pupils.”

Today’s (WED) ceremony was the first opportunity the saplings could be planted. Officers from the Council’s Parks department were consulted to determine the most appropriate planting conditions.

Now in its 13th year, Air Festival organisers are currently working on content in the air, on land, and sea for the forthcoming summer’s attraction.

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