Last month several local schools took part in the first ever Thornbury and surrounds Schools Climate Summit.

The virtual event coincided with the United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP26, that was being held in Glasgow.

Crossways, Gillingstool, Manorbrook, Olveston and The Castle School all took part. SGS College Filton also contributed although they couldn't attend on the day.

The event was organised by community group Sustainable Thornbury, who invited schools to share ideas about what actions they are taking on climate change and biodiversity.

West of England mayor Dan Norris and councillors Matthew Riddle, Maggie Tyrrell, Guy Rawlinson and Clive Parkinson all supported the event.

Prior to the event, each school was asked to do three things. First, to make a short video about climate change and biodiversity loss; the actions they and their schools are taking; and the help they need from leaders and politicians.

Second, schools were asked to make a set of school pledges to act or step up their current actions on climate change and to say what help they need from leaders to fulfil these pledges.

Finally, pupils were invited to take part in a poster competition with a theme of “What a green future looks like to me”.

Pledges from the schools included installing solar panels and making buildings more efficient, setting up a green team to pursue environmental initiatives such as cutting electricity use and working towards an Eco Schools Award. Others pledged to recycle more and plant bee friendly plants and flowers. Many schools were keen to use less and recycle more plastic. Encouraging active travel to and from school was another popular choice.

The Castle School made three pledges: first to build the new school in conjunction with South Gloucestershire Council to Passivhaus standards (a building with a high level of occupant comfort that uses very little energy for heating and cooling); second, to convert the majority of lights in the school to LED lights; and third to increase sustainable and active travel.

A question-and-answer session was held towards the end of the summit and posed to Dan Norris.

At the end of the summit the winners of the poster competition were announced. Six winners were chosen in all, with each presented with a certificate. Prizes for the winner’s school were donated by Papilio at Heritage, Horders, Thornbury Garden Centre and Riddifords.

Gazette Series: Poster by Izzy Adams from Crossways SchoolPoster by Izzy Adams from Crossways School

A spokesperson for Sustainable Thornbury said: "Sustainable Thornbury would like to say a huge thank you to all the children who took part in the Schools Climate Summit, and to all the teaching staff who helped them prepare their videos, posters and pledges.

"The knowledge and enthusiasm of all that attended was very impressive, and our planet will be well cared for if this is a sign of things to come."