Pupils clear Sidmouth beaches of litter

PUPILS from St Nicholas Junior School have been cleaning Sidmouth’s beaches as part of a conservation project backed by Sid Vale Association’s Keith Owen Fund.

BEACHES at Sidmouth are looking more litter-free, thanks to the efforts of Year Five pupils from St Nicholas Junior School.

The group of youngsters pictured, ended their school year by helping out with conservation projects in Sidmouth’s open spaces.

The Sid Vale Association’s Keith Owen fund awarded the school a �5,000 grant towards the cost of the children spending a week at the Start Bay Centre, Slapton, last term, to learn how to protect the natural environment.

Last week two classes went to the beach to clean up litter as part of an educational conservation exercise to keep the environment clean.

They were equipped with bags, gloves and pickers by East Devon District Council before tackling the litter.

One class visited SVA’s Margaret’s Meadow to help with meadow management – cutting back creeping thistles that are spreading – and harvesting yellow rattle seed, ready for SVA volunteers to sow this autumn.

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This wild flower weakens grass roots, allowing more wild flowers to get a foothold in the meadow.

Kate Tobin, a member of the Keith Owen grants committee, said: “The children did a great job and harvested seed worth around �50 during their visit, which will go back into meadow conservation.”

Class teachers Clare Brown and Helen Baker found the experience useful and said: “The children enjoyed the day and learnt a lot. We hope to expand this idea next year and carry out regular conservation days in Sidmouth.”