I rarely stop and think about the environment, however I found myself contemplating it more than I would recently in an assembly from the Eco Club. I realised that, in a relatively short space of time, our understanding of the planet has changed so much. Climate change is no longer a myth but a scientific fact. We may feel sheltered, for the time being, to the impacts of climate change here in Esher, however, when I look back to the events of last year (storm Eunice and the record high temperatures), I can’t help thinking that this may always be the case. There are several different influencers who have played their part in helping me to me more environmentally minded.

David Attenborough is someone who has championed the environment in so many ways. His documentaries have always been dramatic and beautifully shot but also highly informative. His recent series of Wild Isles on the BBC was no exception. The last episode (Saving Our Wild Isles) clearly highlighted how that, despite the challenges we face in the UK, more and more people are changing what they do to be more environmentally friendly. He is also someone who has spoken to world leaders at COP 26, urging them to be ‘motivated by hope and not fear’. He really has used his position to challenge us all about the state of the world in which we live.

When King Charles III gave his first ever speech on the environment in 1970, his views were seen by some as ‘dotty’. However, since then, he has continued to stand up and speak out about the environment. Personally, he has reduced his own carbon footprint by installing biomass and solar panels to some of his residences as well as converting his Aston Martin to run on bioethanol. He has even co-authored a children’s book on climate change that is proudly on display in our library. Perhaps then it so no wonder why so many people are referring to his as the first ‘climate king’.

Finally, our pupils have had one of the biggest effects on me, as they so often do. The Eco Club at Claremont has gone from strength to strength, full of pupils from every year group. All working and collaborating on different ways in which we can all make a difference here at school. The recent Earth Week was such a success with events like upcycling workshops, second hand clothes sales and ‘meat free Monday’ taking place. Thanks to the work of the Eco Club and our outstanding geography department, our pupils are all growing up with an environmental awareness which I know will influence them and their families too in years to come.

So when I look out of my study window and the majestic grounds of Claremont Park, I am motivated by these different influencers to do my bit to conserve and look after the precious environment which I live in. I do look forward with hope to see not only what new large-scale initiatives come next, but also to what I can do to tread more lightly on our earth in the future.

Mr Andy Pinks

Head of geography