A conservationist that is passionate about protecting the water quality of Lake Windermere spoke to Langdale Primary School. 

Matt Staniek launched a campaign last year with a petition to Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs George Eustice to make all of the Windermere region a designated bathing area.

The petition topped 6,000 signatures in a week. 

Since his campaign, Matt has spoken to ITV Border and national newspapers.

However, he knows that to get long-term change, he needed to look to the future.

That's why Matt spoke to the schools in order to get the next generation interested in conservation:

"I am a Windermere lad myself and I was shocked when I found out that the lake is the most polluted one in the Lake District.

I think it is fundamental for young people to know what is going on in our waters." 

The Westmorland Gazette: Matt Staniek teaching at Langdale Primary SchoolMatt Staniek teaching at Langdale Primary School

Matt Staniek teaching at Langdale CofE Primary School

He said that even though the children he spoke to were of primary school age, they were very receptive to the issues he talked about. 

"I initially spoke to them about otters, because I feel like that is an animal that everyone can understand. I said that if Lake Windermere becomes more polluted, it will affect the food chain all the way up to otters. 

However, they all have social media and mobile phones. They all understand what is going on through sites such as TikTok." 

This did not mean that Matt was happy about the messages they were receiving.

"They live in a frightening time. I needed to explain to them that it is not the end and there are steps we can take to resolve the issue, like reducing the amount of phospherus and sewage discharges in our lakes." 

Matt encouraged positive action, and used fun activities to get the kids engaged. Matt maintains an active Twitter page and works with the children to make social videos and content related to the environment.

One of the videos he made with a previous school got over 10,000 views. 

"I hope that kids will get actively involved in conservation."