16 June 2020
Isabelle McCarren, a Y5 pupil in the Junior School of Bolton School Girls’ Division, is celebrating winning the Wombles Eco-Schools Primary Competition. Pupils across the land were tasked with producing a cartoon strip which emphasised the dangers that animals in the countryside and wildlife face from discarded litter. Isabelle depicted a story of Orinoco rescuing a duck from choking on a deflated balloon. The judges said she had produced: “A lovely story with lots of attention to detail,” in a message that was tweeted by none other than Great Uncle Bulgaria himself.
Speaking on behalf of The Wombles, Great Uncle Bulgaria said, ‘We wanted to encourage children and students to use their creative skills to promote an important environmental message about the negative impact of litter on wildlife. Isabelle’s cartoon was a worthy winner, from the hundreds of entries we received from children throughout the UK.’
A delighted Isabelle said: ‘I was very happy and excited when I found out that I had won the competition! Especially when I heard I had won £500 to donate to a wildlife charity, and that I will get to meet Orinoco, my favourite Womble! I got the inspiration for the cartoon after I spotted a helium balloon in a stream near our house. We have ducks living nearby and other wildlife animals and I thought about the dangers the discarded balloon could cause them in Smithills Country Park where we live. So I thought it would make a good story to alert people that they must discard of party balloons correctly. I had to carry on a scene after being given the first picture with no detail, I completed 5 pictures with my story written underneath.’
Isabelle’s mum said: ‘We were extremely proud to hear that Isabelle had won the Wombles Eco-Schools competition. Isabelle had worked really hard on her entry over the May half term. The Wombles sketch was such a lovely way of getting people to think about the dangers that litter can cause to animals in the wild.’
As part of the prize, the Junior Girls’ School will get to donate £500 to an eco-charity. Isabelle and the school are hard at work this week deciding where the money should go. Isabelle will also receive a book token and a special message from The Wombles. Isabelle and the whole of the Junior Girls’ School are very excited at the prospect of the 7 foot Orinoco womble and an Eco-Schools team, which is part of Keep Britain Tidy, visiting next Term to undertake a litter pick with a group of girls.
Lee Wray-Davies, Eco-Schools Manager, said: ‘Isabelle’s cartoon stood out as her story was so clear and concise with very neat handwriting and with beautifully coloured drawings of Orinoco and his new rescued friend. We can’t wait to meet Isabelle and the Eco-Committee from Bolton Junior Girls’ School and go litter picking…hopefully we will not find any balloons!’
The competition was part of a 10 week set of #EcoSchoolsAtHomes resources to help active Eco-Schools such as Bolton School Junior Girls’ School continue with their Eco-Schools topic work during lockdown, not just in England but across the globe.