This news update was released by the Brighton & Hove environmental education project (BHee). BHee is a partnership service delivered by Resource Futures and Sussex Wildlife Trust.
A 10 year-old girl from Hove has won a prestigious poetry prize for her poem ‘Why do people disrespect pigeons?’.
Niko Matthews, a pupil at Brunswick Primary School in Hove, won the Peacock Poetry Prize’s new ‘eco’ category for her poem.
The award is sponsored by the Brighton and Hove environmental education project (BHee), which supports teachers to use the local natural environment as an inspiration for teaching and learning.
Niko was delighted to win a rucksack with The Living Coast logo on it, containing books for identifying wildlife. She was particularly proud of her prize-winner’s mug decorated with the text ‘Keep Calm and Love Pigeons’.
She was presented with her prizes at a ceremony held at the Brighton Dome on Friday 26 May as part of the Brighton Festival. At the event she confidently read her poem to an audience of 70 adults and children, including other prize-winners and their parents.
The BHee judges were impressed with the poem’s use of vivid imagery to challenge the reader’s preconceptions of familiar wildlife, encouraging them to appreciate the ‘everyday’ biodiversity around us.
The overall competition theme was “Everyday Epic”, and the new BHee award recognised pupils whose “Everyday Epic” celebrated our interaction with the natural world.
BHee judges were looking for poems in which pupils shared their experiences of the great outdoors, whether on the beach, in a local park, in their garden or school grounds, or on the Downs.
Brunswick Primary is one of eight schools in Brighton and Hove that have achieved the Eco-Schools Green Flag. Niko is an enthusiastic member of the school’s Green Team, a group of pupils from across the school who lead the school’s eco projects.
Catherine Morrish, who co-ordinates Brunswick’s Green Team, said: “We are absolutely thrilled at Niko’s success! Being an Eco School is central to the life of Brunswick, and we’re very proud of our amazing Green Team who work hard throughout the year to spread eco messages to their friends, teachers and families. It is fantastic that one of the team should win this prize!”
Rich Howorth, Biosphere Programme Manager, said: “We are delighted by the creativity of local school children and their appreciation of our local environment through ‘The Living Coast’. This is a special place that is world-class in nature, supported by its recognition as a UNESCO World Biosphere Region.”
Why do people disrespect pigeons?
Why do people disrespect pigeons?
Just because they make a mess
Just because they huddle round your feet
When you’re walking down the street
Just because they don’t sing a pretty song
It doesn’t mean that they are wrong
Their pretty necks have turquoise purple shiny green scarves
Purr like a cat they do
Fat necked king pigeon
I like you.
The Brighton & Hove environmental education project (BHee) supports local schools to embed sustainability into all aspects of school life. The programme offers a range of free workshops, visits, assemblies, teacher training, resources and advice available to state-funded schools across the city. BHee is funded by Brighton and Hove City Council as part of their commitment to helping pupils and teachers learn about, and take action to protect, The Living Coast, our unique local environment and designated UNESCO Biosphere.