Students to Travel the British Coastline!

Four students from St Christopher’s CE Sixth Form, Accrington have won the opportunity to take part in a scientific trip around the British Coastline in July and August, thanks to the Jane Goodall ‘Roots and Shoots’ programme.

The group will be made up of two Upper Sixth and two Lower Sixth students, who will join the 2021 Darwin 200 UK expedition aboard the ship ‘Pelican of London’ on two separate legs of its journey around the British coast. The young scientists and ecologists will spend their time aboard ship studying plastic pollution and its effects on seabirds, megafauna and the local environment, as well as gaining the training required to assist with sailing a stunning tall ship!

Upper Sixth students, Solphia Zhou from Nelson and Kainaat Hussain from Accrington (pictured above), will be on Leg 2, covering Liverpool to Portree on the Isle of Skye. Solphia, the current Sixth Form Eco Captain, is overjoyed to have been given the opportunity to take part in such an exciting trip. She said:

“As an aspiring natural scientist wanting to do environmental science as part of the course, I'm delighted to be a part of the UK-wide plastics survey and to learn more about plastic pollution around the country. The most exciting thing for me is travelling through the Outer Hebrides while learning how to assist in sailing. I am thrilled to be have given the opportunity to be a part of the Darwin 200 team and sail around the UK.”

Kainaat commented:

“I am really excited to be a part of the Darwin200 Voyage. This is a wonderful opportunity which I am very grateful for. Being passionate about conservation and the environment, I believe it is important that humans recognise that it is our duty to protect all species, including those in our oceans. This is why I am especially looking forward to the marine megafauna survey which will show the effect our activity has on the survival of these species. This information will become available to the public and hopefully encourage people to try to live more sustainably.”

Amelia Litherland and Megan Shovelton (both from Great Harwood) from the Lower Sixth will join the voyage on Leg 3, from Portree to London, and cannot wait to get onboard.

Mrs Litherland, Science Teacher and Eco-Group Director, said:

"To be given such a wonderful opportunity to see the beautiful coastline of the island we inhabit, is in itself amazing. To do this as part of team of young people, from 16-25 years who will take scientific measurements and observations of wildlife and plastic pollution levels, gives us hope. Knowing we are sending individuals out into the work place, with such passion for change and the resilience to work a tall ship around Great Britain, validates the extra-curricular activities and the effort put in by schools and organisations such as Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots to inspire change.”

This life changing-experience will not be easy or for the faint hearted, as participants will be expected to assist with sailing in 4-hourson / 8-hours off shifts, including night watches. However, it will be well worth it for the incredible views, knowledge gained from experts in their field and memories to treasure for a lifetime.

Mr Cuff, Deputy Headteacher and Head of the Sixth Form, commented:

“What a superb opportunity and adventure for our students! This will be a tremendous and unique learning experience for them - one they will never forget - and from which they will obtain some extremely valuable skills. We wish them well.”

To find out more about the Darwin200 Expedition click here.

More information about Roots and Shoots UK can be found here.

All Darwin200 Expedition photos credited to Rohan Holt.