Cockermouth School pupils felt ‘empowered’ after meeting Workington MP and Shadow Environment Secretary Sue Hayman on Wednesday, after writing to her with their environmental concerns.

English teacher Tim Robinson said he wanted the pupils to feel empowered and get a real context for a persuasive writing piece that they were doing on climate change, so suggested they write to the MP.

And pupil Josh Ashfield, 14, said they “were quite shocked to each get a response and expected one letter for the class”.

Charlotte Bone, 14, was inspired to write to the MP after learning about the death of bats due to climate change, she would also like to see plastic packaging reduced while Daniel Braniff, also 14, said he would like to see people using more renewable energies.

Mr Robinson said: “I was really impressed she would be supportive of our students as the kids can feel quite distant from politics, being so far away from Parliament. It was very empowering for them.”

He said she detailed Labour’s position on climate change, the motion that she passed in parliament to declare a climate emergency and that she has sent a copy of the pupils’ letters to Secretary of State Theresa Villiers.

MP Sue Hayman said: “I was really really pleased to see that the children at Cockermouth School were taking such an interest in climate change and wanting to do something about it and finding out what we’re doing as a government and pushing us to do more.

“I think it’s really important and that is how we’re going to genuinely make a change to get young people involved.

“A number of the pupils here have been taking part in the youth strike action in town and I have joined them a few times now and they are absolutely serious about being heard. They want politicians like me not just to listen, but to act and take their concerns back to government, which is what I have been doing.”

She added: “I will keep working with them and we have got some good policies within the Labour party on our green industrial revolution, I’m working on a plan for nature on things like biodiversity I was very excited that the government agreed to the climate end environment emergency that I put forward and we now need a proper plan and will be pressing government to do the same in the same way we’re pulling a proper plan together with my Shadow Environment head on.”