Pupils from Queen’s Manor primary school in Fulham have won an award for their suggestions to improve Rowberry Mead park.
They received the award on Monday when young people from 10 local primary schools took over Hammersmith Town Hall to debate the world’s toughest environmental problems.
More than 80 pupils, aged between 10 and 11-years-old, discussed weighty issues including air quality, light pollution, river cleanliness and the importance of green spaces in London at the annual Children’s Parliament on the Environment.
The green space is close to the Fulham pupils’ hearts as it runs along the Thames Path near their school. They shared their suggestions for improving the park with experts such as Ruth Hutton from the Thames Path Strategy and Peter Finch from the River Thames Society.
The children researched their topics with the help of Hammersmith & Fulham Urban Studies Centre who arranged for pupils to meet council officers, residents and community groups, as well as environmental organisations.
On Monday, two pupils from each school gave presentations in the council chamber, before taking part in a question and answer session with each other. The event was chaired by Cllr Caroline Needham.
“The thought and hard work shown by these young people was incredibly impressive,” said Cllr Needham, who also chairs H&F Council’s Children and Education Policy and Accountability Committee.
“This project is a wonderful opportunity for young people to improve their understanding of the world as well as develop valuable debating skills in a setting that’s fitting to their hard work.”
The young people’s efforts were scrutinized by a panel of judges before prizes were handed out for outstanding project work.
Event organiser Moya O’Hara, director of the Urban Studies Centre in Talgarth Road, Hammersmith, said: “The event gives children the opportunity to have their say on issues that affect them both locally and globally and to present their own ideas and solutions to an interested audience.”
The Urban Studies Centre – which is financially supported by H&F Council – offers opportunities to children and young people to learn about all aspects of the urban environment and aims to enable them to participate in the shaping of their local area. Visit www.hfusc.org.uk for more details