A BASINGSTOKE primary school has been exploring what it can do to help improve air quality in the borough.

Pupils from St Mark’s Church of England Primary School in Hatch Warren recently participated in their first My Journey Travel Planning session.

The scheme, led by Hampshire County Council, works with schools across the county to monitor and raise awareness of air quality and promote ways of creating cleaner air through sustainable travel initiatives and resources.

At the event, pupils and staff were joined by Basingstoke MP Maria Miller, Jean MacGrory from the county council’s My Journey Travel Planning team, and Hampshire’s executive member for education and skills, Councillor Stephen Reid.

During the meeting, children were told about the issues of air pollution and where to sample air pollution levels around the school.

Cllr Reid said: “Everybody can have a positive influence on air quality and I spent a fascinating morning at St Mark’s Primary School finding out how we can all make a difference.

“This work in schools is a great way for young people to learn about the positive impact they and their families can have on local air quality by walking, cycling or taking a scooter to school, and leaving the car at home when they can.”

Further sessions will involve recording the results of the monitoring and getting the children to discuss how to plan a Clean Air Campaign to change people’s travel behaviour.

Mrs Miller said: “I want to keep Basingstoke a great place to live and an important part of that is protecting our clean air.

“This established programme run by Hampshire County Council helps educate young people about the importance of good air quality and the practical steps we can all take to improve the quality of our air.”

“I am looking forward to coming along to a further session at St Mark’s Primary School, to see the results of the monitoring of air quality, and hearing what practical ideas the children have come up with to improve the air quality around their school.”