Sunday, 17 April 2011

DRAX Power Station Visit

On Wednesday we had a booked home ed visit as a group to Drax Power Station in Selby. I have never been to a power station before and I was quite excited/nervous/worried. It was quite structured and did feel very much like a school trip, which was not something I enjoyed but had we not gone in a group we probably wouldn't have had the opportunity to go. When we got there we had to wait for everyone to arrive, we had managed to be quite early as I'd allowed lots of time for getting lost, which amazingly for me, I didn't! Then we all boarded a coach and were taken to the learning centre for a talk.

 This is William's first outing. Say cheese!
 Looking at a scale model of the power station, which was very impressive. The children (and parents) were given a talk about what the power station used to make electricity, which was a mix of coal and biomass. They were very keen to talk lots about biomass as its a sustainable alternative to coal and doesn't harm the environmet (their words not mine).

Sadly, we weren't permitted to take any photograph's inside the power station. But I can tell you that it was incredibly noisy, quite dirty and very, very overwhelming. Piper decided to go with the younger children as she really doesn't like noise or dirt or see through, metal stairs, so it really wouldn't have been much to her liking. We were given safety helmets, high vis vests, safety glasses and ear plugs to wear and had four staff members with us the whole time. It was very well organised but there was so much information given to us that I think a lot of it went over the kids heads, most of it went over mine anyway. And since I've come home and thought more about I can't help thinking more about the bad side effects that power stations and pylons have on the environment, land and people around them. I wouldn't like to live in Selby with the looming cooling towers behind my house and it really made me question what kind of effects they really have.

After lunch, we were taken back on the coach and driven down to nature reserve, again the staff were very positive about what the power station were doing to restore the natural environment. This was a picture of a set or den from either badgers or a fox, not sure exactly which.

 This was where all the ash goes from the coal being burnt. The grass begins to grown over it and holds it all together.

 New trees being planted along the banks.
 Sorry the photo's are all blurry they were taken through the window of the coach. The children enjoyed the nature reserve lots and it was my favourite part of the day too as it was much more relaxed and much more our thing.
We were allowed to take a photo near the the cooling towers before we left so here it is. It was an interesting day and an experience for all of us I think, its brought to mind lots of questions about electricity, the environment and biomass which can only be a good thing and I'm glad we went along.

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