Birmingham Young Environmental Activist Awarded Fifer Award

Rosa Day from King Edward VI Camp Hill Girls School beat off the competition to be awarded the Fifer Award for Young Environmental Activists, plus £400 project budget and expert mentoring to bring her project to Beat Plastic Pollution to life.

Students from 3 Birmingham schools were shortlisted to present their solutions to beat plastic pollution to a panel of expert judges at MAC Birmingham through the My Wild Future Project.

All GCSE and A-Level students in Birmingham were invited to submit proposals to beat local plastic pollution to The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country. The top 4 applicants pitched their ideas in a ‘Dragons Den’ style to win £400 project budget, expert mentoring from the Trust and the first Fifer Award, an annual award for young inspirational environmentalists.

Rosa impressed the judges with her plan to persuade supermarkets to display pictures of the negative impact plastic has on wildlife next to plastic wrapped products alongside providing alternate sustainable packaging options. Rosa was inspired the images used on tobacco products which have been used to successfully change behaviours.

The award was presented by Gabriella Fifer, daughter of late local environmental activists Joy and Alan Fifer and will be an annual award organised by The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country to commemorate and celebrate their legacy.

GCSE students from Wilson Stuart School were runners up. The judges thought their plan to reduce single-use plastics across their school, an academy for students with special educational and health needs, was inspiring and have pledged to work with the students to make their classrooms single-use plastic free.

Students from Broadway Academy came in joint 3rd and have been invited to run a stall at the Trusts upcoming WildFest! to sell their plastic upcycles creations and raise money for a plastics awareness campaign in Perry Barr.

Judges

  • Jon Sadler Professor of Biogeography, University of Birmingham 
  • Charlie Pendlebury, Birmingham Programme Coordinator, Uprising.
  • Peter Shirley, Vice President, The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country.
  • Georgia Stokes, CEO, The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country.
  • Gabriella Fifer, daughter of the late Moseley Bog campaigners Joy and Alan Fifer.

Finalist schools represented

•           Wilson Stuart School, Erdington

•           King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls, Kings Heath

•           Broadway Academy, Perry Barr

The Fifer Award

The Fifer Award is an annual award for young inspirational environmentalists. It is awarded by The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country to celebrate the legacy of late prominent Moseley Bog Campaigners Joy and Alan Fifer.

In 1980 a planning application was submitted to drain Moseley Bog for a new housing development.  Local residents Joy and Alan Fifer launched a campaign to protect the wild space and continued to support the nature reserve and its wildlife for the rest of their lives. The campaign was instrumental in the formation of the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country. Today Moseley Bog and Joy’s Wood is a protected nature reserve, managed by The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country and home to a wide variety of wildlife.

Gabriella Fifer, the daughter of Joy and Alan and panel judge for the competition said

“The whole Fifer family feel extremely honoured that the Fifer name is being utilised to encourage young people to actively participate in nature conservation. Joy and Alan believed that empowering youngsters was the way forward for a positive future for urban wildlife conservation. This award fulfils all of their ideals.”