Buckton Vale marks moors fires anniversary

ONE year to the day after the moorland blazes began, Buckton Vale Primary marked the anniversary with a special event.

The Carrbrook school received a visit from Bogtastic, a special outdoor classroom that enabled pupils to learn about protecting and enjoying the moors.

The initiative is from Moors For The Future Partnership, of which the Peak District National Park is the lead partner.

Communication engagement officers Jody Vallance and Alice Learey gave a presentation to the whole school at assembly.

They enacted short plays to raise awareness of the risk of moorland fires and what to do to prevent them.

It was then outdoors to the mobile classroom which can be seen regularly at shows and other events as it is aimed at educating the public.

Pupils learned about conservation of the moors with Jody explaining if they are kept in a healthy state that can prevent fires.

Jody was impressed by the knowledge of the pupils when it came to fire safety on the moors.

When asked what they should do in the event of seeing smoke, one four-year-old child raised her hand and declared they should “telephone the operator”.

Headteacher Deborah Brown explained the children were able to relate with what the communication engagement officers said because of their experiences last summer.

She said: “Even though some of our children are aged six or seven, they are very switched on about what happened.

“If you educate young children now, we have more chance for the future.”

Mrs Brown explained some of the children were traumatised by the effects of the blazes after being forced to evacuate their homes, but the school received support from the Salford Psychology Service while she is also a trained grief recovery counsellor.

At the height of the fires, Buckton Vale Primary was forced to close for four days.

Firefighters also attended and children presented them with a frame ‘thank you’ mural they had made. It is to be displayed at Stalybridge Fire Station.

Buckton Vale Primary is looking to create an outdoor classroom so eco issues like the moors can become an even more important part of the curriculum.

The problem is funding such a project and Mrs Brown is looking for sponsorship, especially from anybody in the construction industry who may be able to help.

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