April 29th 2024

Sea Cadet receives surprise letter after writing to the King about saving the planet

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A 12-year-old Sea Cadet wrote to King Charles in a drive to do everything possible on his mission to save the planet.

But eco-conscious Cadet Logan Smith did not expect a reply, so he was stunned when a letter from the King’s Secretary was presented to him at Long Eaton Sea Cadets.

After learning about global warming at school and the global Earthshot Prize initiative at Sea Cadets, Cadet Smith was inspired to recycle more, pick up litter and generally do whatever he can to help the environment.

Cadet Smith, one of 66 Sea Cadets at Long Eaton, off Oakleys Road, said: “I think it was my Mum who told me the King does lots for the environment, so I decided to write to him.

“I just remember getting the letter back and feeling happy and excited that I’ve done something to help the environment and showed what is possible.

“I don’t have any more big plans, I just want to try and keep the environment healthy and try my best to keep the planet alive.”

Protecting the natural world

In a letter to Cadet Smith, the King’s Secretary wrote: “Thank you for your most thoughtful letter to His Majesty The King regarding the environment and your time at the Sea Cadets. His Majesty is deeply committed to protecting the natural world.

“As King, His Majesty continues to support and celebrate global efforts towards a more sustainable future.

“It was very kind of you to share with His Majesty your enthusiasm for recycling, and he hopes that you continue to enjoy being a member of the Sea Cadets.

“The King would have me convey his warm good wishes to you and your family, and to thank you once again for taking the time to write to him.”

Cadet Logan Smith.

Cadet Logan Smith.


Cadet Smith’s desire to make a difference stems from one of the Sea Cadets’ core values: respect, and he isn’t the only one showing great care and appreciation for the environment.

Exploring the Earthshot Prize has encouraged the youngsters at Long Eaton Sea Cadets to think more about the importance of respecting our environment, especially when it comes to dangerous plastics in oceans, rivers and lakes.

This global challenge, supported by Prince William, Princess Kate and Sir David Attenborough, is about discovering, spotlighting and helping grow innovations that can repair and regenerate our planet

Long Eaton Sea Cadets have made bug hotels and wildflower bee bombs. They have used their imagination to design litter-picking inventions. And in May they are planning to litter pick at nearby Attenborough Nature Reserve.

That’s in between a mixture of sports on and off the water, drill, first aid and Cadet Smith’s favourite: sailing.

For their green efforts, Cadet Smith and two of his fellow Long Eaton Sea Cadets have been also awarded special Blue Peter Green Badges.

Petty Officer Andrew Maltby, who is also a Royal Naval Reservist with HMS Sherwood, said: “As a unit we are really, really proud of Cadet Smith and the fact he wrote to the King on his own initiative.

“He’s been a Cadet who’s always got involved. He’s always the one to say ‘right, we’re doing this’.

“We know that if we don’t do something to get these guys thinking about the environment, nothing is going to change. But I think we’ve made great leaps forward.”

Cadet Logan Smith (centre) poses with some of his peers at Long Eaton Sea Cadets.

Cadet Logan Smith (centre) poses with some of his peers at Long Eaton Sea Cadets.

‘Our people add value’

Cadet Smith joined the Sea Cadets when he was 10-years-old and has ambitions to join the Royal Navy when he is older.

He added: “I joined the Sea Cadets because I just wanted to do more with my spare time, to put it to use and do something different.

“It’s a good place to be and you’re really supported and learn a lot of new stuff. There are loads of things I can only do at Sea Cadets.”

Not everyone chooses the same path, but all are helped along their way by the valuable life skills nurtured in the Cadets.

Stuart Williams is the Chief Executive of East Midlands Reserve Forces and Cadets Association, which exists to champion, support, and enable Reserves and Cadets in the region.

He said: “Cadet Smith’s story is an incredible example of the positive impact Cadets has on young people and wider society.

“He is a fine role model for his peers and I believe we can all learn a thing or two from him. Our people in the Cadets add so much value.”

Want to join the Cadets or supporting them as a Cadet Volunteer? Type your postcode into our Cadet unit finder to find your nearest units.