Students’ film and opinions feature at important 50th Anniversary Forum of The North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  

Students’ film and opinions feature at important 50th Anniversary Forum of The North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  

Community and business leaders, volunteers, entrepreneurs, artists, farmers, professors and an MP were among the 100-strong audience gathered at Marlborough Golf Club recently, to celebrate 50 years of the North Wessex Downs AONB, and to consider the challenges ahead. And Jog Students were part of it.

The North Wessex Downs gained its protected status back in 1972 when it was recognised as one of the UK’s finest landscapes. Students were invited to make the ten minute film, considering what they enjoy and love about living in the area and also, what they want policy makers to consider in the future – their future.  

Key Note Speakers included: Nicola Chester, award-winning local author, Guardian writer and BBC Magazine Columnist (and our School Librarian); Natalie Ganpatsingh, founding Director of Nature Nurture CIC; Roger Kerr, CEO of Organic Farmers and Growers CIC; and Professor Tom Oliver from the University of Reading. Subjects discussed focussed on biodiversity loss, food security, access to green spaces, diversity and equality of access and climate change.  

The students’ film was shown during breaks and discussed at the Forum – and they were not only on topic, they were way ahead! The Year 7 students spoke lyrically about what they enjoy about living in the area. Special places, favourite views and activities, strong communities, a surprising range of cultural events and their connections with nature and the farmed landscape all featured, before the students challenged the gathered delegates and influencers to tackle climate change, nature loss and access to our wonderful chalk streams, to continue to support our strong communities, arts, events, activities and talents – and perhaps provide a little bit more to do .. a mini-golf course would be nice, apparently, and a Japanese takeaway!  

Eva, Lacey, Aaron and Jenson with the school’s Eco-School Green Flag

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