THE importance of recycling waste materials is being taught at an early age.

Children from Hackforth and Hornby Primary School, in Hackforth, spent time yesterday learning which materials in household waste can be recycled.

A North Yorkshire education officer, from the national charity Schools Waste Action Club (Swac) came to Hackforth and spent an afternoon with the seven to 11-year-olds.

Katie Harvey, of Swac, said: "I visit many schools throughout the region to talk to children about used products and recycling. They learn to identify which materials can be taken out of the rubbish and reused or treated.

"The whole project is for children of all ages and it fits in well with the National Curriculum."

Swac is a registered charity and its work in the region is funded by North Yorkshire County Council, City of York Council and Yorventure, backed by the waste management company Yorwaste.

The school's headteacher, Judy Borthwick, said: "The children have all been extremely enthusiastic and have learned a lot about the environment. The work they have done has been very good and very worthwhile.

"Swac has helped to make learning fun and brought the subject of waste management to life instead of it just being some statistics on a sheet of paper."

l Two children from Hackforth and Hornby Primary School have been given extra reason to smile after receiving letters of thanks from Buckingham Palace.

Luke Baldwin, seven, decided to send the palace a portrait which he drew of the Queen in an arts class during the jubilee celebrations.

Jade Lawrence, ten, sent a poem which she had written to the Queen reflecting her feelings about the death of the Queen Mother.