CHILDREN in schools across Cheshire West and Chester are finding out what it takes to fulfil a career in the environmental sector thanks to visits by the Environment Agency.

The series of themed visits kicked off at St Bernard's Roman Catholic Primary School in Ellesmere Port, where more than 30 Year 5 children learned about the importance of protecting our planet and what they can do to become the next generation of environmental sustainability professionals.

Organised as part of the Environment Agency Aspiration Days, officers from the agency’s operational teams gave pupils a general introduction of who the Environment Agency are and what they do before providing an overview of flood risk and management, tackling pollution and habitat creation techniques.

Pupils were then given the chance to put their new-found knowledge to the test using a model with pollution risks to discuss and identify before taking part in a mock exercise with a ‘spill kit’ used by the agency to contain incidents of pollution.

As a follow-up to the incident exercise, children were shown a demo of the Agency’s demountable flood defences while trying operational officers' health and safety equipment on for size and guessing what the paraphernalia protects.

To start off their own future careers and end the day, pupils were left with a laminated copy of a river system to build different flood defence models on to.

This allowed the children to investigate a variety of materials to build the structure, where to put the flood defence itself and see first-hand how successful their defences would be in the event of a flood.

Stephen Parry, Cheshire field team leader for the Environment Agency, said: “It was fantastic to meet with, what we hope will be, the next generation of Team EA at St Bernard's Roman Catholic Primary School.

"Visiting schools across Cheshire as part of our Raising Aspirations work is a really exciting project for us, and part of a bigger overall aim to teach young people how to improve and look after our natural environment.

“Ultimately, we want to leave our environment in better state than we inherited it, and it’s great that the children at St Bernard's Roman Catholic Primary School are playing their part.”