School takes to the tube to monitor transport emissions

St Bede’s Primary School in Winchester has begun a 6 month project in partnership with Winchester City Council pollution watchdogs to check air quality levels in the city centre.

Pupils will be using measurement tubes donated by local company Gradko International Ltd to assess air quality at their school under the supervision of Environmental Health Officer Phil Tidridge who is responsible for the permanent monitoring stations within the City.

Phil launched the project several weeks ago by visiting the school and helping pupils fix the tubes in 3 locations for the initial 4 week period.  He will be assisting over the next 6 months to repeat the monitoring in order to ensure the results are as accurate as possible.

Commenting on the project, Teacher Jill Cameron said “Phil did a great job of explaining the project to the children and they answered his questions with enthusiasm.  It was great to see them involved in placing the diffusion tubes in the three sites, and working out how to label them.  As part of the project we want to make sure that the whole school is involved as we work towards the Eco Schools Silver Award.  We hope to get the children to produce an information sheet about the results with ideas about how air pollution around the school and in the city can be reduced.”

Councillor Eleanor Bell, the City Council’s Portfolio Holder for High Quality Environment, also welcomed the initiative; “This is an excellent example of the way schools can support our work to address the issue of air quality within the City.  Solving these problems is likely to require behavioural change in relation to transport and getting future generations involved as early as possible can only help with this process.  We applaud the initiative shown by St Bede’s and hope to roll out this work to other schools who may be interested.”