CAP 2021 youngsters excited to put passion for the environment into practice with Norwich pond clean-up

Environment

Norwich teenager Anya Bond has been putting her passion for the environment into action.

She joined her fellow Community Ambassadors Programme (CAP) members on a mission to all walk 26-miles during lockdown to raise funds to clean a pond in Marriott’s Way.

While clocking up her miles, she did a beach litter pick where she and her dad collected more than four bags of plastic and lots of fishing boat equipment.

She said: “We actually watched a documentary on Netflix the other day as a family called Seaspiracy which said that 46% of plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is fishing nets, which partly explained why and how we found so much fishing waste. We walked around two miles along the seafront. It went in a big general waste bin on the way back to the car.

“I would definitely recommend watching it. It was extremely informative, and the statistics are just insanely scary. Since watching it and learning about the wildlife in our seas, we’re making a big effort to eat very little meat in general, especially fish.”

The CAP is a free weekly session hosted by The Garage in partnership with Clarion Futures, The #iwill campaign, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and #TNLComFund. It gives young people the opportunity to become active members of their community.

The pond clean-up collaboration is part of a wider initiative to link CAPs to their local national parks.

Anya, 14, got involved with CAP about a year ago.

“I gave it a go because I was looking into joining more clubs and I’d never been part of a social group like this. I thought it would be a lovely opportunity to get involved in.

“I really look forward to our Tuesday evening Zooms and all aspects of what CAP has to offer – the social side, our project planning and our shared passion for improving our local and global environment.

“I very much enjoyed my 26-miles (roughly the length of Marriott’s Way) of walking and running over the Easter break and it felt really good to know of the great cause behind it. I did almost all of my walking from home with my family and my friends.

“I went down Marriott’s Way in both directions on some of the walks. Dad had heard about others litter picking along the coast at various beaches and we decided to do our bit too on one of the walks.”

The current CAP participants are aged 12-16 and are all from Taverham. They will be working closely with The Broads Authority on the pond clean-up. Money raised from the sponsored walk will be used to buy tools, plants and stage an after-event for guests and the public to see the changes they’ve made.

Grace Durbin, part of our CAP team, said: “They are so enthusiastic and passionate that the small number of them makes up for not having loads of people on the programme.

“They are extremely passionate about making their area a better place. The fact we’re working closely with The Broads Authority couldn’t be more appropriate.

“We’re hoping to be able to start getting out and about to do tasks with our connection who will take us on field trips to learn more about the environment and help develop our knowledge moving forward for our pond clean-up. We’re all really excited.”

Nick Sanderson, Education Officer for The Broads Authority, said: “It’s a great privilege to be working with such a motivated and enthusiastic group of young people who, despite the constraints of lockdown, have proved themselves to be real self-starters and organised their plans so efficiently.

“Linking this practical community action project with an understanding of the wider environmental issues facing the Broads, will be an excellent way to achieve their John Muir Awards.”

Find out more and how to donate.

Want to get involved with the CAP? Email info@thegarage.org.uk.

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