THE headteacher of a Carlisle school has spoken out about 'eco-anxiety' in young people.

Graham Frost, headteacher of Robert Ferguson Primary School in Denton Holme, has said he had seen pupils - plus his own children - share how anxious they are about issues such as climate change.

He said: "We've done quite a lot of work recently on environment and climate, to the point we are facilitating student activism, and I think that's important.

"My view as an educator and a parent is it helps them to feel that they're doing something about it."

Pupils have been undertaking activities such as writing letters to politicians and making videos for business leaders, and Mr Frost has invited children - with their parents' permission - to go with him to the climate strike in Carlisle on Friday, to take part with placards and speeches.

School leaders have a duty to prepare children for the future, but also to help them in their efforts to protect the world they are inheriting, in a safe, lawful and democratic way, he argues.

"I think it's something that anyone of any age joins a campaign about something they feel strongly about, that there's something empowering about doing that," and can allay some of the fears they feel, he said.

It comes as parents are being advised to be honest with children about the environmental crisis as "eco-anxiety" becomes widespread among young people.

Eco-anxiety is a response to the climate and wildlife crises the world is facing, which have climbed the agenda amid school strikes, Extinction Rebellion protests and warnings from UN-backed science reports.

Caroline Hickman, a psychotherapist who is a member of the Climate Psychology Alliance (CPA) executive committee and teaches at the University of Bath, said she saw people in all age groups reporting eco-anxiety, though different ages can experience it in different ways.

All children she has spoken to are "clear" they are feeling eco-anxiety and "all seem to realise that their future has not got the certainties that we assumed when we were growing up".

Despite parental concerns about protecting their children from the crisis, youngsters are clear on the need to take action and want to be told the truth - just not in a way that terrifies them.

She said: "It is a terrible thing to do to have to tell your child frightening things and it is a powerful urge to protect a child, but we need to think about protection being also concerned with being honest, protecting them from betrayal and feeling lied to or abandoned."