Passionate Mansfield schoolgirl wants to 'take a stand' against climate change

A passionate Mansfield schoolgirl has begun organising her friends as she bids to 'take a stand' against climate change.

Poppy Asher, 12, a pupil at The Brunts Academy, has gathered five other likeminded children and opted to take the day off school in order to protest global warming and plastic pollution.

Poppy Asher, 12, with her climate change sign.

Poppy Asher, 12, with her climate change sign.

Poppy became interested in climate change activism after watching a documentary on plastics in the oceans and the effects on the ocean's whale population, and organised a strike as part of an international ‘Friday for Future: Schools Strike for Climate’ movement, created by 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg..

She said: "Since year seven I have had a campaign called 'Save The Whales' which aims to raise awareness of plastic pollution and how to stop it.

"In a geography lesson we watched the documentary about plastic pollution and the effects it can have on the environment, and we were concerned about it so we looked into taking action.

"I have done assemblies at Brunts and next week I will be going into Holly Primary to give a talk about the issue with my friend Samara, to promote the issue and make younger children more educated.

Louise Asher with her children Poppy, 12, Kitty, 10 and 7 year old Beau.

Louise Asher with her children Poppy, 12, Kitty, 10 and 7 year old Beau.

"The strike is a global day of action and we are all concerned about global warming and climate change so we came together to take a stand.

"We just want to raise awareness of the issue to younger people because they and we can make the change that is needed.

"Greta Thunberg has done a lot for this issue and we are following in her footsteps trying to bring about more understanding on what we can do in our lives to support the planet.

"In terms of taking a day off school we have a lot of the same lessons every day so we won't miss that much, and the message Greta Thunberg is trying to get across is that there is no point in learning about things if it is going to carry on happening without action being taken.

"There has been scientific evidence to show that, if we carry on like we are, the ozone layer will break in 12 years and the sun will come through it more.

"That is obviously something that cannot happen."

To make a change in her own lifestyle, Poppy has stopped using most single-use plastics such as cling film and plastic straws, and has made her family make big changes to their lifestyles too.

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Louise Asher, Poppy's artist mother, said she is supportive of her "passionate" daughter.

She said: "I have spoken to the teachers at school and they are fully in support of what she is trying to get across.

"It will go down as an unauthorised absence but it will be flagged up why they took the day off school.

"As a responsible parent obviously Poppy's education comes first and foremost for me, but what she has done about getting things changed shows she is passionate about what she is doing.

"Once she gets her teeth into something she really does go with it, and she has really opened our eyes to the dangers of using plastics unnecessarily and the impact it can have on the planet."

"I'm very proud of her for what she is doing."

Poppy and her friends started their strike at The Brunts Academy before marching into Mansfield Town Centre, where they protested outside the Old Town Hall calling for action on climate change.

The Brunts Academy has been contacted for a comment.