Halton schoolgirls take part in protest march at COP26 summit
Two schoolgirls from Halton who took part in Greta's march in Glasgow for COP26 have said it was an amazing experience.
Isla Bradbury and Esme Donald, both aged nine, and pupils at St Wilfrid's Primary School in Halton, were amongst the youngest taking part in the march promoting the urgency of acting on climate change.
The two girls held a banner they had made themselves to try and get the climate message across to people.
Isla and Esme said: "Our banner said ‘Stop denying the Earth’s dying. We wanted people to start listening to the people in the march because they had important messages to get across and to listen to everyone’s voice.
"It's important that young children and people take part in a march such as this because if young people do it then they will probably do it when they are older too. Also if young people do it then the older people are more likely to listen to them. There is more support if people see families taking part."
Isla said: "The marchers were keen for other people to listen to them. They all wanted to encourage other people to join in because the more people who do it the more likely they are to convince the people in power that they need help."
Esme said: "I think that people were feeling very upbeat and ready to go because they were shouting lots and were very loud. They definitely wanted to get the climate change message out there by going all around Glasgow, holding banners and shouting."
Isla and Esme said: "There were not many children to talk to as we were mainly surrounded by older people. We spoke to lots of the grown ups though.
"People were asking us if they could take a photo of us and if we had to take a day off school to come to the march.
"They asked us if we liked the march and if we had learned about climate change at school. "
Isla said: "We got to go in a metal ball made by a man who was collecting promises about climate change. My promise is try to use less electricity and remember to turn lights off.
"I really enjoyed it because it was nice to see so many people were caring and wanted to help the earth.
"I enjoyed climbing on the statue in George Square whilst joining in with the people were singing. My feet were so sore I couldn’t do my dance class properly the next day. The night before we went I said to my Mum that this was going to be one of the most important days of my life. "
Esme said: "There were thousands of people and they were holding banners and shouting. Then we saw a man who had ribbons and we could write on them. I wrote the message that is on our banner. We got to see the metal ball made by a man who travelled around Europe.
"He started off in Germany and travelled 1500 kilometres in the ball. He went through seven countries in 91 days. My promise is to try to stop people using and making too much carbon dioxide.
"It was an amazing experience because there were thousands of people taking part and there were lots of people sitting on their window ledges holding banners.
"I will take away the memory of all the people talking and singing on stage at the rally in George Square. I was clapping whilst they were singing. I will remember this for a long time as I have never seen something as enormous as this before. Also my feet were aching so much from all of the walking!"
It took about three hours to complete the march with a cafe break to rest.
The march started in Kelvingrove Park and finished in George Square.
Isla and Esme say they didn't see Greta Thunberg but watched her speech later on.
Isla and Esme said they learnt about how important COP26 is in school assembly and also about climate change in other assemblies, but they need to learn more.
Isla said: "I understand lots about climate change and how it is affecting the world because my big sister has taught me lots about it.
"We need to stop using too much electricity because the sun will shine on the earth and won’t reflect off and produce too much cardon dioxide.
"This is making the earth warmer. I know that lots of animals are in danger and I really care about animals so I want to help them. "
Esme said: "Climate change is affecting the world because it is melting all the icebergs and the seas are rising and we are producing too much carbon dioxide. Polar bears and other animals may become extinct soon. Locally it makes the rivers flood and our village has flooded badly before and may do again. Also there are fires and the world is burning."
Isla and Esme have been friends since they were babies.
They have been on other marches such as the Friday Youth Climate strikes (Fridays for Future).
Isla and her big sister Polly also attended COP26 march in Lancaster last Saturday.
Esme took part in a Fridays for Future march in Glasgow a couple of years ago.