Council Commissions Theatre Company to Raise Awareness of Air Quality Initiatives

Bedford Borough Council’s Sustainable Transport team has been raising awareness of factors that affect air quality in order to encourage behaviour that will help to reduce pollution.
Using DEFRA’s Air Quality Grant 2020-21, the Council arranged for a professional theatre company to visit ten lucky schools in the Borough to perform a live show about air pollution, which investigates the causes and concerns of air quality and promotes safe, sustainable travel.
Students in Year 5 and 6 at four schools from Bedford’s Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) and six of school outside of the AQMA had been invited to watch the performance. These schools were chosen because of the good progress they have shown in promoting active travel to their students and parents.
The show is an engaging and interactive performance, which offers pupils practical advice and information about how they can make a positive impact on both their local environment and their health by helping to improve air quality. 
The Sustainable Transport team have also been visiting these schools and running awareness campaigns. The children are educated about how to reduce idling (turning engines off), improve air quality around the school and how to spot lichen. The lichen lessons involve taking pupils on a walk outside of school to discover different types of lichen and its relationship to air pollution.
Councillor Charles Royden, Portfolio Holder for Environment, said: “Air quality is good in Bedford Borough and we want to continue to educate children and young people about what they can do to continue to drive down air pollution and carbon emissions locally.
“Young people in Year 5 and 6 are at an important time in their lives where they begin to travel more independently, so we’re keen to help them understand air quality and sustainability.”
Do you represent a school or have a child of school age? You can speak to the Council’s Sustainable Transport team about them visiting a school by emailing sustainable.transport@bedford.gov.uk.