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Head's expedition to save the world; Series of talks will spread word on issue.

Byline: Joe Patrick

THE headmaster of a North East boys' school has embarked on a series of talks to schools and organisations in the region following his expedition to Antarctica.

Luke Francis shared his experiences with pupils at his own school, Newcastle School for Boys, at The Grove, Gosforth.

He plans to take his talk "Facing the challenges ahead: the need to protect Antarctica," to other schools in the North East.

Pupils, their parents and local residents are invited to attend the free events, in which Mr Francis will recount the experience of his trip to the Antarctic Peninsula, with renowned polar explorer Robert Swan OBE, to view the effects of climate change.

Mr Francis, a keen mountaineer and father-of-three, joined the British Greenland expedition in 1999 before being personally invited by Robert Swan - the first man in the world to walk to both the North and South Poles - to accompany him on a visit to Antarctica in 2008.

The aim of the expedition was to educate people on the importance of preserving Antarctica, to promote the use of renewable energy and to raise awareness of the effects of global warming.

Mr Francis now hopes that, by sharing his knowledge and experience with young people across the North East, he can show them how they can help combat global climate change.

He said: "I strongly believe that educating children isn't simply about helping them pass exams. It's about giving them a wider knowledge of - and interest in - the world around them. The effects of global climate change may not impact on my generation but it will certainly affect my children and the children I am currently teach.

"I have seen for myself the damage to the polar ice cap and, when the Antarctic Treaty expires in 2041, the future of that entire area will be in jeopardy." For more information visit


GREEN MESSAGE Headteacher Luke Francis, and top and right, at the Antarctic
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:8ANTA
Date:Dec 5, 2011
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