PUPILS at a school in New Milton have been sharing their ideas and their passion for tackling climate change on the national stage.

Children at Ballard School were invited to take part in two national climate change conferences in recent weeks, with their feedback going to leaders and thinkers on the frontline of the UK’s climate change response.

Jamie Craft and Patrick McCabe, both in Year 10, joined Tomorrow’s Engineers Week Schools COP Summit, a national summit designed to explore ways engineers can help achieve net zero emissions.

They were among just 50 other pupils from schools around the country exploring how engineers are at the heart of addressing the climate crisis.

Patrick said: "I think it is important to give school children a chance to voice their concerns and ideas for climate change, and for them to be put forward to MPs and global leaders."

The pupils heard from inspirational engineers at the forefront of work to address climate change and then joined discussions, hosted by broadcaster Fayon Dixon and former BBC presenter Susan Bookbinder, that mirrored those being held at the COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow.

Jamie added: "It was a great opportunity for me and other young people to express ideas about climate change, and to hopefully influence leaders' decisions about global warming in the future.

“Hopefully this will encourage the school community to consider its effects on the environment more and allow us to set an example for other schools and communities.”

In addition to this, a group of Year 7 and 8 pupils joined another online conference, sharing ideas with pupils from around the country at the first Votes4Schools Youth Advisory Board meeting of this academic year.

Mr Alex Bellars, who facilitated the session at Ballard, said: “This topic was clearly very important to our pupils who all took the opportunity to make clear, well-argued points.

“At one point I was even worried that Ballard pupils were in danger of monopolising the Zoom meeting, so keen were they all to speak!

“The recording and accompanying notes of the meeting will be sent to myself and the other teachers for approval before they are passed on to the UK Government and the COP26 Summit. I hope they are all listening."