MORE than 250 children and adults took part in a school strike over climate change in Bradford on Avon last Friday (20 September).

They were part of a global campaign to force national governments to declare a climate emergency.

Children from three Bradford on Avon schools - Fitzmaurice and Christchurch primary schools and St Laurence secondary school - took part in a rally at Westbury Gardens.

They urged the government to take action now to help stop climate change by reducing carbon emissions to net zero by 2025.

The rally heard speeches from Indigo Mitchell, 13, a pupil at St Laurence School, who said: "We want the government to act now and declare a climate emergency.

"We are at the tipping point where the situation is going to get so bad we won't be able to rectify it."

Children and adults waving placards and chanting slogans entered Westbury Gardens for the lunchtime rally.

Lucy Vigar, 19, a former St Laurence School pupil and now a student at Warwick University, urged people to campaign to force the government to act now on climate change.

"They dismiss our opinions because they say we are not old enough to have an opinion. But our opinion does matter because the world is the one that we are going to grow into.

"Climate change emergency has to be put at the heart of every decision that the Government makes.

"We must work together and we must have a plan to become carbon neutral and we must make that a top priority."

The school strike was the first climate change rally to take place in Bradford on Avon.

Organised by the youngsters, it was backed by Climate Friendly Bradford on Avon, Plastic-Free Bradford on Avon and Extinctions Rebellion Bradford on Avon.

Similar protests were staged in towns and cities throughout the UK, including Bath, Salisbury, Swindon and London.

Cllr Alex Kay, chairwoman of Bradford on Avon's environmental and planning committee, praised the "fantastic" turn-out and speeches by the youngsters.

She added: "We have to work together across the whole planet and do what we can. Only by working together can we reduce the waste and carbon emissions."

Bradford on Avon is among around 330 town, district and county councils that have so far declared a climate emergency.

The global campaign launched by Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg was also being supported everywhere from Australia to the United States of America.