Ferring Conservation Group were treated to an accomplished presentation by three very able students from St Oscar Romero School in Goring-by-Sea at the Group’s March meeting, accompanied by their teacher Mr Phil Dean.
Elliot Meakins, T Chaffer and Robson Seljan are all members of the ‘Fingerprint Ambassadors’ which initially had 4 members and swiftly grew to over 40, all with the same aspirations to work towards a sustainable and environmentally aware future.
Elliot began by explaining why ‘Fingerprint’ and not ‘Footprint’ was chosen. He explained that there are 100 fingerprints in 1 footprint and therefore carbon fingerprints are far more desirable than carbon footprints. Elliot’s message was to take every opportunity to reinforce this in day to day activities, on or offline, social media and in person and to always set an example by your actions.
In Robson’s part of the presentation he was keen for us to take on board and implement energy conservation by switching off lights, sourcing eco-friendly technology in the home and by simply walking instead of using the car. He left us with the disturbing thought that before long there will be more plastic bottles than fish in the ocean!
T’s message was the distressing impact that greenhouse gases are having on the planet, and the race that world leaders are part of to combat or at the very least lower these to a minimum. T’s dream is to live in a world with a nice healthy habitat because the planet deserves our love and care forever and a day.
The students provided an informative and thought provoking window into their vision for a greener future. Their abundant message was that ‘Knowledge is Power’ and with great attention to detail we can indeed turn around our past mistakes and make good and ecologically sound decisions in the future.
Phil Dean then took to the floor to tell members about the John Muir Award scheme that the students were working towards. This scheme focuses on wild places and has 4 challenges, discover/explore/conserve and share. Phil explained that John Muir was the man responsible for the setting up of the country’s National Parks starting with the Peak District in 1951 and finally the South Downs here in Sussex in 2010.
A questions and answers session concluded the first half of the meeting in which the students further impressed members in their knowledge and confidence to tackle everything they were asked. Fingerprints not Footprints badges were awarded to all who posed a question.
After a break for refreshments the popular Nature Notes session was delivered by Graham Tuppen. Beginning with welcome signs of spring, Graham gave news of sightings of Celandines in bloom, Wild Primroses, Wood Anemones and a Nuthatch was spotted along with a Tree Creeper in the Plantation. Also a shy Water Vole was glimpsed along the banks of the Rife. A short but amazing video was then shown featuring a fight between 2 White-tailed Sea Eagles in the sky above the RSPB Pulborough Brooks. This display was between a young eagle that was encroaching on the older eagle’s territory – an interesting addition to this much loved section of the meeting.
Ed Miller drew the meeting to its conclusion with local planning news. He highlighted the fact that there were several planning applications for housing estates still awaiting a decision by Arun DC.