Whitehaven accent: Eight sixth-form students express their local and global environmental concerns



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About the speakers

Suzanne Roberts, Jenny Gullen, Leanne Kessell, Amy Henry, Emma Fairhall, David McGeehan, & Craig Blakeley (b.1982/1983; sixth-form students)



A:         Yeah, there’s a lot of laws and a lot of Government policies that have been set up to combat – combat those pollution problems.  It’s got a lot better, or so I’ve been told. 

A1:       But I think, as well, there’s less industry as a whole, isn’t there, especially around Whitehaven.  It used to be an industrial area, but it’s not any more.  That’s why, I think, people are trying to encourage tourism so much. 


A2:       I don’t think it’s industry so much that causes the pollution.  It’s actually people around that are throwing out rubbish, dumping waste around the town.  I mean, you only have to go on the harbour and you notice, you know, rubbish being washed on the shore, and it’s dangerous.  And on the cycle ways, they’ve provided cycle ways for us, yet they can’t be bothered to clean them up.  You’ll walk along the cycle way and there’s smashed bottles, cans all over the place.  It’s just not safe. 


A:         It’s a big problem round Whitehaven, people throwing litter.  There are a lot of bins and things around, but you won’t find any on cycle ways.  It’s – it’s just a – it’s the youth.  A lot of it comes from the young people, who just don’t use the bins.  It maybe needs combated in school.  There are a lot of bins, and you’ll see people just walking straight past them.  There’ll be a bin right next to them, but it won’t stop them throwing it right – just straight on the ground. 


Q:        What about recycling of materials, do you all do that? 

A1:       Yeah.

A2:       Yeah, my mum collects –


Q:        Sorry? 


A2:       My mums collects stuff to recycle? 


Q:        What sort of things are recycled? 


A2:       Just like papers and bottles and jars and cans.  Things that you can recycle. 


A1:       Yeah, recently we’ve had all them green bins put outside our house, where you can collect cans and paper and that.  And there’s also the banks down – there’s some outside Tesco. I’m not sure where there is any more.  But we’ve been given the facilities to recycle, so I think we should use them.  I don’t myself like [laughs]. 


A3:       Well, my – the green bins that are outside the houses round my area, they do get used.  Because it’s another way of storing your waste and it’s got a good effect, as you’ve seen in the Blue Peter appeal, where they send the – recycle the aluminium and then put it to great effect by creating some money to spend on third world countries, which is good. 


Q:        Do you think you are more aware of the environment than your parents or grandparents? 


A2:       Definitely, yeah. 


A1:       My grandma always says – because we try to get her to recycle stuff – and she always says, “We got you through the war, so it’s up to you to tidy up the planet.” She likes to say that. 


A3:       It’s – there’s a big problem with seagulls around the town centre.  And a lot of the pollution comes from – comes from the seagulls ripping through the bin bags that you’ve put out for the dustbin men, that often come at five or six o’clock at night.  And the seagulls have had all day – the people are out at work, have had to put their rubbish out in the morning.  And you’ll get home and you’ll have to clean it all up – all off the roads.  It just – it gets washed up and all the way down the road.  So I think something really needs to be done about that. 


Q:        What are your global environmental concerns?  In other words, you know, if you look into the wider world, do you have any particular concerns?


A2:       I’m concerned about global warming and the carbon dioxide emissions into the air.  Because it’s not only causing problems for us, but rainforests and the climate itself.  I mean, one day, they’re saying that the ice caps are actually going to melt and the sea levels would rise, you know, and cause us a lot of problems.  I mean, now we can see in the weather a difference, that we’ve got wetter summers and warmer winters.  And it’s just causing a lot of problems.


Q:        And, apart from recycling, have you done anything in your lives in response to a particular environmental concern? 


A:         There’s a lot of projects set up within the school.  There was something that was run when I was in lower school called Action Awards.  And they helped promote the youngsters to do a project within the local environment to clean something up.  When I was doing it, there was – there’s a woods, and there’s a lot of litter in the woods.  And my project was to clean up the – to help clean up the litter in that woods.  And there’s a lot of other people who do – who clean up towns.  There’s [inaudible 0:05:14] Pond and a lot of other things locally.


A3:       Yeah, I think it’s good to get people involved in a early age, like projects set up.  Because then they take that step and then they see how it helps Earth and then take it on into later life and carry it on. 

Whitehaven accent: Eight sixth-form students express their local and global environmental concerns
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