YOUNGSTERS at Barford School have been taking part in a host of activities to mark Clean Air Day as the village’s campaign against an “air polluting” quarry rumbles on.
The pupils have been measuring air quality and putting together a video showcasing the importance of protecting the village from what campaigners say are the negative effects of a having a large quarry on their doorstep.
Clean Air Day, which was on Thursday (June 16), is the UK’s largest air pollution campaign, bringing together communities, businesses, schools and the health sector.
Residents in Barford have been fighting plans to open a sand and gravel quarry at nearby Wasperton for the last six years. The proposals are contained in the Warwickshire County Council (WCC) Mineral Plan which identifies areas of the county where significant mineral resources can be found.
Malcolm Eykyn, one of the members of the campaign group The Sand and Gravel Committee, explained that, already highlighted by recent official air pollution analysis to be a particularly excessive hotspot of atmospheric pollution, Barford would be exposed to even greater danger if this 200 acre quarry gets the go ahead.
He said: “Smith’s Concrete, who plan to start mining 350 yards from the edge of the village will, by their own admission, be moving 200 heavy quarry lorries a day to and from the site. Add to that the effect of mining machinery of powerful diggers, conveyors and screening plants over a period likely to be in excess of 15 years you can then begin to realise the scale of the additional toxic diesel and dust fumes being released into the atmosphere for the residents to inhale deep into their lungs.
“This atmospheric release of pollution is compounded by Barford lying directly under the flight path of the prevailing winds which will carry these dangerous and invisible airborne particulates around and into our houses. A leading scientist in this field of fine particulate airborne transmission has already provided evidence in court of the permanent damage this can have to unborn children of pregnant mothers living a few kilometres away from the source of the dust emission.
“Our communities are already vulnerable to atmospheric pollution. We must stop further potential damage to our health. How can the needs of the quarry next door outweigh the needs of the health of our residents?”