Pupil takes environmental campaign to European Parliament in Brussels
A Crewkerne mother was brought to tears as she saw her daughter take her environmental campaign to the European Parliament.
Pearl Barnes, of Manor View, was full of pride when her 15-year-old daughter, Abbie, presented an environmental conservation video to MEPs in Brussels.
The Wadham School pupil won a national schools competition run by the Young People’s Trust for the Environment and Eurostar.
The teenager made a three-minute video documentary on the destructive effects that harvesting palm oil has on the world’s natural rainforests.
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Mrs Barnes said: “Abbie has been very passionate about environmental conservation for quite a while, so when the school heard about the competition they knew she would be interested.
“I am really proud and pleased for her, she has worked so hard. I am delighted that she is following her passion.
“She has been campaigning for palm oil to be labelled and for sustainable palm oil to be promoted in supermarkets.
“Winning this competition is so encouraging, and it tells her that she is going in the right direction with her campaigning.
“You would not believe how driven she is. The video she produced made me cry.”
Mrs Barnes accompanied her daughter to the European Parliament, where around 15 elected officials, including Brian Simpson MEP, listened to the youngster’s presentation.
And Mrs Barnes said that the MEPs were so impressed that they exchanged contact details, and vowed to look at showing the campaign to other members of the European Parliament.
She added: “It was an incredible experience. We have not had chance to think about how big an achievement it was.
“I think that her story could inspire others to follow their passions and dreams.”
Mrs Barnes said her daughter’s environmental philosophy was first inspired by Michael Murpurgo’s 2009 novel, Running Wild.
The talented teenager is considering studying Environmental Studies at college in Taunton, after sitting her GCSEs this summer.
Miss Barnes is preparing to run the 28-mile Liberty Trail in August to raise money for Born Free, a wildlife conservation charity that works to protect endangered animals in the wild.
The trail runs between Ham Hill at Stoke-sub-Hamdon to Lyme Regis, in Dorset.