On Monday 19th June, Planet PK (PK Porthcurno), Minack Theatre and Cornwall AONB who are all part of ‘Plastic Free Porthcurno’ joined forces to provide a day of environmental activities for St Levan Primary School. This collaborative event which included a beach clean provided a great opportunity for the partners to get together and provide a fun and educational day in Porthcurno on the themes of plastic waste and the environment for the local primary school.
Porthcurno was awarded ‘Plastic Free Community’ status by marine conservation charity Surfers Against Sewage at the start of 2022 in recognition of joining a network of communities across the UK who are taking on the challenge to reduce the impact of single-use plastic on their local environment.
The day began with the older children (key stage 2) from St Levan watching a school’s performance of Calvino Nights at the Minack’s famous cliff-top theatre whilst the younger children enjoyed beach activities organised by their teachers.
After lunch, the school was met on the beach by staff from PK Porthcurno, Cornwall AONB and Minack and everyone took part in a beach clean which involved clearing the ever-present microplastics from the beach into rubbish sacks donated by Surfers Against Sewage. Similar to the regular community events hosted by PK Porthcurno’s award-winning environmental programme ‘Planet PK’ this cleaning activity also took in the path and hedges on the way back up to the car parks which can often be as badly affected by litter as the beach.
Led by Cornwall AONB Partnership Manager Emma Browning (dressed as a giant bee!) the children made their way up to PK Porthcurno’s museum gardens for an afternoon of environmentally themed activities and workshops, starting with a captivating story ‘A Mermaid Tail’ from local storyteller Mark Harandon.
Emma Browning, Cornwall AONB Partnership Manager says,
“It was a privilege to spend the day with St Levan school. With the help of the ‘AONBee mascot’, we led the children to the beautiful PK Porthcurno gardens to engage in activities related to pollinators, in the Cornwall AONB Mobile Visitor Centre/Events area. The children enjoyed identifying different insects and pollinators within the gardens and also completed educational word searches and puzzles. For Cornwall AONB this collaborative event and beach clean allowed us to jointly raise the profile of our protected and beautiful landscape, actively help reduce plastic waste from the environment and opened up opportunities for future events together.”
Mae Voogd, Learning & Participation Manager at PK Porthcurno says,
“It was lovely to welcome St Levan school back to PK for this event. We ran an environmentally themed code-breaking activity with the school children which they really enjoyed, and some children even went on to spell their own names for us to guess using the special colour-coded alphabet. It was great to be able to make the group feel welcome in our museum gardens. We feel having interactions with local school children is important as the museum has a variety of art and science activities to offer. It’s always nice to see familiar faces at our monthly activities and I hope to see them again at some of the summer events.”
Mark Francis, Headteacher at St Levan Primary School says,
“The St Levan school motto is very clear, ‘where all children SHINE for life’, all working together to realise an INDIVIDUALITY in the all-round education afforded in preparing children for learning the skills which give them their own aspirations, interests and options in life. The school offers strong links to the local environment and pertinent environmental issues. This collaborative event gave us a fun afternoon on the beach, a chance to discuss plastic waste and local environmental issues within Cornwall AONB. Topped off with storytelling and fun environmental activities from PK Porthcurno.”