The following article is a letter from Lauren Chapman, a young Birmingham resident who is concerned about the health of the planet. I used to be her teacher- so am very proud of her volunteering to write this letter and her eloquence.

Dear Miss Palgrave,

I am writing to you because I heard that you are a member of Greenpeace (Friends of the Earth- but we both do good work! editor) and so I wanted to give my opinion on the health of the planet in Birmingham.

One of my favourite places to spend my time at is Sarehole Mill and Moseley Bog, but now every time that I go there, more so than the nature, the sheer amount of plastic litter that lines the banks of the river is disgusting and completely takes away the ‘nature’ element of it. It is everywhere.

Sometimes I go down to the banks of The River Rae, to play on the small, secret, pebble beaches that border our river and find to my horror, complete traffic cones floating dismally along. If a tree is to fall over with its branches resting in the water, hours later you will find bags upon bags worth of litter pollution tangled up in the tree branches, almost certainly killing any river life that we have left in our rivers, with its suffocating plastic bags.

This has to stop.