The children of Castle Park Primary’s excellent work focussed on a highly controversial future source of renewable energy for the UK. The proposed Severn Barrage could generate up to 5% of the UK’s energy requirements, utilising the Severn’s immense tidal range of around 15 metres – one of the largest in the world.
The children started by having visits from speakers representing organisations including the Young People’s Trust for the Environment and Parson Brinckerhoff, a company tasked with carrying out the feasibility study for the Severn Barrage.
Having visited the river themselves, the children carried out a local survey, asking over 100 people for their opinions on the barrage. Most seemed to think it was a good idea, though there was much concern over possible environmental impacts.
The children wrote letters
asking for the opinions of influential people including their local MP, the Mayor of Caildicot, Gordon Brown, Prince Charles and the Queen. They even had the chance to visit the Welsh Assembly to hold their own class debate on the issue there. This was a brilliant way for young people to engage with an important local environmental issue, which will have impacts on their community in the future.