Young ‘Green Britons’ to stage WOMAD debate

Four inspiring secondary school students will appear on stage at the WOMAD festival (Sunday 26thJuly) to debate Britain’s most pressing environmental challenges after being named the inaugural ‘Young Green Briton’s of the Year’.

Chaired by Channel 4 news anchor Jon Snow, the ‘Young Green Britons’ will be mentored by experts across the four fields of debate:

Field of debateYoung Green BritonExpert mentor
ENERGYMegan Hanson, 15Dale Vince - Ecotricity founder
TRANSPORTNerys Pickup, 15Robert Llewellyn - Actor, comedian, writer and electric car fanatic
FOODNoella Usbourne, 15Geetie Singh-Watson - Organic food entrepreneur
NATUREFindlay Wilde, 13Simon King - Television presenter and wildlife cameraman

The four winning candidates were selected by a panel of judges after submitting a video, written piece or recording, outlining: “how Britain could be greener by changing attitudes and inspiring others to adopt sustainable ideas”.  

The ‘Young Green Briton Debate’ will be held at ‘WOMAD 2015’ on Sunday 26 July from 10:30 am - 12 noon, on the Ecotricity in the Arboretum stage.

The four winning candidates were:


Megan Hanson, 15, from Portsmouth in Hampshire

“Most people would know that burning oil, coal and shale gas releases carbon dioxide, the primary cause of global warming, but would they know that the power plants also produce sulphur dioxide - the cause of acid rain - nitrogen oxides - a cause of smog - particulate matter - a cause of many respiratory illnesses - and mercury - a toxic metal?

“Many people think that greener sources of energy are experimental. This is not the case. Scotland, has managed to generate 49.6% of its gross consumption from renewable sources, most coming from wind energy. Scotland hasn’t even reached it’s full potential, there is much more power it could produce.

“Wind energy could provide more than enough energy for Britain to power itself several times over - not only would we be using a clean source of energy, we could also export it to other countries. Going green is better for our economy.”


Noella Usborne, 15, from Stroud in Gloucestershire

“Food...we need it to survive and yet in the process of creating it we are tearing apart the world we live on. Look at the decline of bees - our main pollinators – (crop) monoculture, over-fishing, animal cruelty.

“I think one of our main issue is ignorance, not stupidity. A lot of people are just are not aware of these issues. So one of my first ideas is to start an awareness campaign (based on) one simple though provoking question: “Where is your food coming from? Is it worth it?”


Nerys Pickup, 15, from Scarborough in North Yorkshire

“I'm interested sustainable transport and ways we can improve it (to) lower our carbon footprint in a more eco-friendly and cost effective way.

“We need to start by teaching young people like myself that there is a better way. Where we do not have to rely on fossil fuels for transport. We need to start in schools, educating young minds about solar, wind, hydro and also hydrogen power to help fuel our transport needs.”


Findlay Wilde, 13, from Moulton in Cheshire

“I would describe myself as a young conservationist and ornithologist. I entered the Young Green Briton competition, because I want to make sure the voice of my generation is heard.

“I listened to the leaders debates (during the election) and read a survey to see which words were mentioned the most. But what I found the most worrying were the words that were mentioned the least (or in some cases not at all) – environment, nature, climate.

“The natural world is being erased in front of our eyes. What sort of examples are (political leaders) setting for me, my friends and my generation. I want them to strengthen the laws to protect the natural world, not relax the laws to carry on abusing and wrecking it. I want them to stand up and make the UK ‘world leaders’ in tackling these issues,not ‘world losers’. Think 500 years ahead, not just 5 years.

“If the bees all die, we die too, what would any of their policies matter than. If the planet carries on warming, we won’t be drowning in debt, we’ll be just drowning.”

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