The activists issued a passionate plea to the young attendees and their teachers, inviting them to leave their messages on a giant wall in the Festival garden, to be displayed throughout the next ten days as politicians, writers and thinkers descend on the site.

Inspired by 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg, the on-site action was part of a global series of protests calling on governments around the world to take immediate action. 

Rosa Lynas, 12, said: “School strikes aren't about missing school. They are about making a difference, getting people to listen and creating a better world. We will make the sacrifice of a few days off school to help avert an even greater climate crisis.”

Andy Fryers, Hay Festival sustainability director, said: “Recent protests and youth action locally and around the world have energised us with a new feeling of urgency. With some of the world’s greatest thinkers and influential leaders joining us for the next ten days, we want to maintain this focus throughout the Festival. We hope the messages from these young activists will resonate around the world and put added pressure on leaders to move for the changes we all need to make.”

By the end of today, we expect every inch of the 'wall' to be covered.

If you want to find out more about the climate crisis, you might be interested in Event 52 on Saturday 25 May, 

Photo by Chris Athanasiou