Students from The Two Counties Trust’s nine secondary schools gathered at the Lea Green Outdoor Activity Centre on Monday 22nd April for the Trust’s inaugural Earth Day event. The event aimed to get students outdoors to connect and learn about ways they can protect the world we share.

The event started with an inspiring presentation from Leena Norms, urging students and staff to embrace their responsibility in protecting the planet. Leena emphasised the significance of collective effort, highlighting that even small individual actions can contribute to a significant change. She also spoke passionately about the concept of ‘positive panic’, encouraging everyone to channel their concerns about global warming into proactive, positive action.

Following the talk, students eagerly participated in a variety of hands-on activities designed to deepen their connection with nature and foster environmental awareness. The activities included creating seed bombs and colourful bee hotels to support local biodiversity, learning exciting bushcraft skills, discovering fascinating facts about birds of prey, and using the natural environment to create pieces of land art.

At the end of the day students were called upon to form eco-committees at their home schools. This moment ensured the effects of the day will not be limited to the event itself. Rather, the lessons and experiences learned will have the potential to impact 11,000 students and 9 schools. These eco-committees will lead initiatives and drive change within their communities. Ashfield School already has an eco-committee set up and they have managed to create 18 bee hotels, plant over 100 trees and save 1,000 tons of litter going to landfill! This is testament to the power of these student led groups within schools to enact meaningful change.

Gordon Carrothers, Trust Lead for Geography said;

‘We’re thrilled with the success of our first ever Earth Day event at Lea Green. It has undoubtedly empowered our students to become environmental stewards who will bring about real change within their communities. National Trust’s data highlights the overwhelming desire among 76% of young people in the UK to spend more time in nature, this celebration underscores the vital importance of fostering connections with the natural world for personal fulfilment and collective unity. We couldn’t be prouder of our students for embracing this opportunity and eagerly anticipate the incredible contributions they will make on our sustainability journey.’

Leena Norms, said:

‘I was so glad to be part of such a special day full of earnest concern for and celebration of our planet – I really enjoyed injecting a little positive panic in to the student’s morning, and was encouraged by the lively energy and brewing activism among them.’