School children invited to create artwork encouraging visitors to leave only footprints

Posted on Friday 19 June 2020

School children from schools across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole are being invited to create artwork to encourage people to behave responsibly and respect the environment when visiting our parks and beaches. BCP Council plans to use the artwork on signage across the area’s seafront and heathlands and this will support the council’s Leave Only Footprints campaign.

This year, the council has seen increasing amounts of litter, such as plastic bottles, takeaway containers and other rubbish, being left behind in our parks, heathlands, and on the beautiful sandy beaches of our area. The school signage artwork project aims to encourage individuals to be more considerate and responsible with their behaviour.

School students will be asked to think of innovative ways to encourage visitors to respect the environment and will create their designs in full colour, which can be hand drawn, painted or digital. The council plans to use as many of the designs as possible across a range of signs – from A4 boards on lamp posts along the seafront, to prints on tree planters, banners, car park signs and more.

Councillor Vikki Slade, Leader of BCP Council said:

“We have all been saddened by the behaviours displayed by some of those visiting our beaches and parks over the last few weeks and it has been heartening to be contacted by so many local residents to express their frustration. We have had lots of innovative ideas sent to us and we are keen to encourage young people and schools to get involved in some of our summer signage.”

Councillor Sandra Moore, Portfolio Holder for Children and Families added:

“We would encourage schools to take part in the scheme. We live in a beautiful area of the country, and would encourage the young people of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole to join in encouraging responsible behaviour that protects our environment when they are at the beach or in the parks.”

Councillor Lewis Allison, Portfolio Holder for Tourism, Leisure and Communities said:

“We welcome this initiative to encourage people to keep our beaches and local environment clean. BCP Council collects around 2,000 tonnes of waste per year from the seafront and this year, there has been a rise in the amount of litter left. Discarded litter, including disposable BBQs are dangerous to wildlife and can cause a fire risk to our local heathland. Waste left on our beaches can often cause pollution and harm marine life if it is washed away by the sea.”

Katie Payne, a teacher at Glenmoor and Winton Academy, who will be encouraging her pupils to take part concluded:

‘Students at Glenmoor and Winton academies are keen to raise awareness of issues surrounding plastic pollution and littering. As part of their new student led society ‘GW Be the change’, we hope to design some educational and eye catching posters that will encourage visitors to take responsibility for their waste and recycle. Glenmoor and Winton students are passionate about helping their local community and raising awareness of wider societal issues’

Each participating school will be asked to collate the artwork and send to BCP Council by Friday 3 July. Many of the designs will then be used in various locations across the BCP Council area.