School pupils shine in MoorLIFE competition

This is an archived press release

Monday 15 July 2013

Moorlife WinnersSchoolchildren brought their stories to life with shadow puppets, acting and animation in a competition to depict "Bringing life back to the moors."

The national competition was organised by MoorLIFE, a five-year project to rescue some 2,000 acres of Peak District and South Pennine moorlands from the ravages of erosion, air pollution, overgrazing, drainage, climate change, and wildfires.

The winners and runners-up gathered at the Moorland Discovery Centre at Longshaw to receive their certificates and see two films created by the pupils on the themes of the winning poems, stories and pictures. The young film-makers were guided by the Babbling Vagabonds professional theatre company, based in Buxton.

Nine-year-old Sophie Wright, of Norton Free Primary School, Sheffield, took the top prize in the primary school section with her "Tragic Moorland Poem." Sophie told the story of a picnic that turned into environmental disaster when a careless family let their barbecue blaze out of control, devastating wildlife and plants across the moorland.

"I wanted show how people can destroy the moorland and how peat bogs and moorland are easily damaged by fire," said Sophie.

The Norton schoolchildren made shadow-puppets and voiced the story on film.

Winner in the secondary school section was Henri Poole-Birrell, of Stover School, Devon, whose cartoon of space aliens landing on moorland was brought to life with acting and animation by Henri and his fellow students.

Runners-up were George Beaumont, Malachi Smith and Olivia Grace Taylor of Deepcar St John's Primary School, Sheffield; Joe Winspear Madden of the Duke of Norfolk Primary School, Glossop, and Isabel Sutton and Megan Smith of Tansley Primary School, near Matlock.

MoorLIFE project manager Catherine Wynn said: "We were delighted with the quality of the entries – the children were really creative, and the filming of the winning stories got lots of pupils involved.

"It raised awareness of the moorlands and the importance of conserving them for tackling climate change and flood risks, as well as the threats to its special habitats, plants, animals and birds.

"The films will be put on the Moors for the Future Partnership website (  ) along with the educational materials used by the schools, produced by the national park's Learning & Discovery team.

"We hope it will inspire other schools to explore their moorland environment and understand how sensitive it is to the activities of people."

* Eighty per cent of UK peatland is known to be damaged. Some 70 per cent of UK drinking water comes from the moorlands and its blanket bogs store around 3.2 billion tonnes of carbon, making the MoorLIFE restoration project important to everyone.

* The £5.5m MoorLIFE project, based at Edale, is supported by £4m from the European Union LIFE+ fund to restore 2,000 acres of moorland by 2015. It is led by the Peak District National Park Authority and delivered by the Moors for the Future Partnership. Partners include the Environment Agency, Natural England, the National Trust, United Utilities and Yorkshire Water

This is an archived press release

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