First thing visited Avenue Nursery in Highgate. Definitely the Rolls Royce of nurseries – and in fact, not just a nursery, but going up to 6/7 year olds now. Beautiful premises (good design) and facilities (amazingly huge garden)! I am there to accompany a class on a litter observation outing. So eight youngsters, their two teachers and myself and Ed Butcher (councillor and my Head of Office) headed for Highgate Woods.
The children had clipboards with a sheet where they would mark up and tally how many pieces of litter they found. Cans, cigarette butts, plastic bits, sweet wrappers and so on. One sheet was for Highgate Wood – and the other sheet was for Highgate Station car park and then the Archway Road up to Highgate Wood.
Well – the car park and the walk up Archway gave the children a feast of possible litter. We examined cigarette butt after cigarette butt – and whilst in the Highgate tube station car park they wanted to know what an MP was. So I was explaining that the House of Commons was where laws were made and that recently we made a law which will stop people smoking in doors etc.
I congratulated them on their environmental work. They were bright as buttons – and they said why weren’t there any bins? So we decided that they are going to write to me (or email me officially as constituents) and I will then take it up with the relevant authorities and try and get more bins. I did explain that station bins had virtually disappeared for security reasons – but there’s plenty more places they could be put.
Then we arrived at Highgate Wood. What a contrast. Whereas the children were excited every two seconds by various horrible bits of litter before we got to the woods – in the woods we were hard put to find anything. So huge congratulations to the woods keepers for a fantastic job – and to those who use the woods who clearly respect their absolutely beautiful surroundings.
So – definitely one of my pleasantest duties this week – and fun too. And very heart warming to see how dead keen the kids were and how much they learned from this practical action. I am sure they will get another environmental award to add to the two they already have. If only all nurseries could be this good!