Pupils from Shankhill Primary School got the chance for a close encounter with the 125-metre high wind turbines which generate electricity at the Hallburn Wind Farm near Longtown.
The children were interested in visiting the site having seen huge components travel through the town, and the structures creating a new feature on the local skyline.
Almost 40 pupils toured the wind farm by coach before stepping out to get a closer look at the six 2.2MW wind turbines, each equipped with three blades measuring 49 metres.
Will Whittington who is Project Manager on the Hallburn Wind Farm development returned to the school with the children and gave a presentation on wind power and the year-long project to construct the Hallburn Wind Farm, which is now complete.
The children were full of questions about this theme as this educational visit complemented Shankhill’s scientific learning about electricity and the many ways to generate it.
Here are some of the children’s comments:
Daniel (Year 3): “It was really fascinating to find out how the wind turbines worked.”
Jack (Year 5): “This visit has inspired me to use my knowledge in my writing.”
Daisy-May (Year 3): ” It was amazing to stand beneath the wind turbines. They were gigantic and up in the clouds!”
Matthew (Year 6): “It was a thrilling experience getting that close to the colossal wind turbines.”
Georgina (Year 6): “This experience was very enjoyable because we were able to get up very close to the wonderful wind turbines. It was as if we were looking up at a skyscraper.”
When operating at capacity the wind farm will generate electricity equivalent to the needs of around 10,100 households, with power from the turbines set to be routed into the local supply network.
Shankhill Primary School Headteacher Lynnsey Batey explained: “This experience has brought learning to life for the children aged between 5 and 11. It has not only helped to develop their scientific and geographical knowledge and understanding, but it has opened their minds to a local and global awareness of renewable and sustainable energy sources.
“In addition to this, it has prompted classroom discussions around the ideas that as the children grow into our next generation of responsible citizens, decisions like these will be theirs to make one day.”
A Community Benefit Fund associated with the Hallburn Wind Farm project will generate over £1.6 million during the 25-year operating period of the wind farm, with annual grants of £66,000 each year for local projects and community groups.