First News: Eco mermaid makes epic swim

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'Eco mermaid' makes epic swim

An 'eco mermaid' has set the new record for the farthest swim with a monofin.

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Merle Liivand swam 42.2km (26.22 miles) at Miami beach in Florida, completing the challenge in 11 hours and 54 minutes. Dubbed the 'Miami Eco Mermaid', Merle is a competitive swimmer and conservationist who has already set three world records.

She wears a silicone mermaid fin (called a monofin) and swims without the use of her arms - just like fish or marine animals would do. Her aim is to raise as much awareness as possible about plastic pollution and the damage it causes our oceans.

The record-breaker, who is originally from Estonia but now lives in Florida, told Guinness World Records she had to get up at 4am every day to train for the record attempt and get her body used to the swimming conditions.

Unfortunately she hadn’t planned on getting stung by a jellyfish on the way – ouch! Thankfully, Merle managed to smash her own record – she previously swam 30km (18.6 miles) – and even enjoy a swim alongside some dolphins too!

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By Libby Morris, Outwoods Primary School

A Viking joined us on our walk to help stop pollution and congestion around our school.

As part of Walk to School Week (16-20 May) we did lots of activities, including wearing different shoes to encourage pupils to walk to school and even walking with a Viking from our local park to school. Around 100 children and parents joined us on the day, and the Viking even stopped the traffic to help the lollipop lady!

After the event, we asked schoolchildren whether it had changed their habits. Our results saw 13% of children across the school get active by ditching the car. Even better, 25% of my classmates walked the whole way.

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The Viking was extremely funny. In fact, he did an assembly on how the English walked out of a swamp and defeated the Vikings over 1,000 years ago, which goes to show the power of walking.


Summer solstice

21 June

It's the longest day of the year! There's a special gathering at Stonehenge, where the stones frame the rising sun.

Glastonbury Festival

22-26 June

The famous festival kicks off in Somerset, with Billie Eilish, Years & Years and Diana Ross performing.


Osprey chicks have hatched in Southern England for the first time in 200 years! Two little chicks were spotted on a live nestcam at a secret site in Poole Harbour.


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