MP presents conservation award to Rydon school pupils

Two Rydon school children received a special award from their MP at the House of Commons last week for their campaign ideas to protect rainforests.

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Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert presented the award to Sienna Jay and Ellie Thomas from Rydon Community College at a parliamentary reception on Tuesday (3 March).

Sienna and Ellie visited Westminster to collect an award for designing winning posters for The Word Wildlife Fund’s ‘I Love Amazon Schools' poster competition.  The award was presented by their MP Nick Herbert and TV adventurer Steve Backshall.

The pupils also took part in a debate on how the Government can help stop the disappearance of Amazon forests.

Sienna was the regional winner with her design for a poster inspired by the idea of tropical rainforests being the ‘lungs of the world.’  The judges were impressed with her slogan, ‘Don’t take our breath away.’  Ellie was the regional runner-up and used the Amazon jaguar’s point of view to convey the importance of saving habitats, using the slogan ‘Save our forests, save their homes.’

The Commons event also provided the Rydon Year 6 Geographers with the opportunity to meet other parliamentarians, business leaders and campaigners, and to listen to the debate about supporting trade in legal and sustainable timber.

Ellie Thomas described it as a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ and Sienna Jay summed it up as an ‘awesome day.’  Sienna and Ellie said that they were thrilled to meet adventurer, explorer and environmentalist Steve Backshall and Mr Herbert.

Rosie Westrup, Head of Geography at Rydon Community College, said: “It was great for our inspirational pupils to talk to the local MP about their ideas on global issues.”

All of the Rydon pupils will be invited to become forest ambassadors and will consider how to use the school prize of £150 towards an environmental project.

Nick Herbert said: "It was a pleasure to welcome Ellie and Sienna to the Commons and to see their brilliant campaign ideas.  They deserved their award and I am glad that they enjoyed the visit."





  1. Photograph – Nick Herbert with Steve Backshall, Ellie Thomas and Sienna Jay

       2.  For more information about WWF's 'I Love Amazon' schools initiative see 

Michelle Taylor