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Dr Jane’s Visit Inspires Student Action

Roots & Shoots at Eton has been going strong, particularly since Dr Jane Goodall’s visit on 1 March when she gave an inspiring talk to teachers, school leaders, and hundreds of students from Eton and its partner schools (Beechwood School, Herschel Grammar School, Holyport College, Lynch Hill Enterprise Academy, Slough & Eton CE Business & Enterprise College, The Langley Academy, The Windsor Boys’ School, Windsor Girls’ School, Heathfield School).

Keeping in mind Dr Jane’s message that even small individual actions to help animals, people or the planet can be transformative if everyone does their part, students have been busy. Askan R. reports that a number are active in an environmental book club, some are contributing to The Florentina, Eton’s student-run environment publication, and others have started an environment-focused podcast. Two Eton teams were named Earth Prize Scholars 2023. In terms of more “hands-on” efforts, Robin D-P noticed that many High Street shops provide customers with plastic (often single-use) bags. He took the ingeniously simple step of providing reusable organic cotton shopping bags for the shared use of the boys in his house. It’s one small action that will prevent additional plastic pollution.

Hasan A. reports that a group of Eton boys and Holyport students, advised by two environmental management specialists, worked together to plant saplings on school grounds. Led by Ms. Hicks and Ms. Herbommez, the Co-directors of Environmental Education at Eton, and Mr. Fussey, the students learned about the requirements for trees to thrive in harsh urban environments, and about the benefits of planting a variety of native species. In a field adjacent to Eton Wick Road, the group planted some 60 hawthorn, blackthorn and field maple saplings. Students will measure the biodiversity gain and the carbon capture these new trees will provide. Planting trees is one of the easiest and best ways to help the environment. Trees also provide cooling shade, water retention and wildlife habitat. Planting the saplings was fun and will likely lead to more local reforestation projects. Thank you for inspiring us, Dr. Jane!

Written by Thomas G. (Year 10)

Dr Jane Goodall receives a standing ovation at Eton’s Farrer Theatre. Photo, Eton College
Dr Jane Goodall addresses the students at Eton. Photo, Eton College
Dr Jane chats with student Thomas G. after her speech. Photo, Eton College
Eton and Holyport students work together to plant saplings. Photo, Eton College

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