A 'BORN geographer' at a York school has been highly commended by the Royal Geographical Society in a national contest investigating the uniqueness of the Arctic.

Isobel Wragg, a sixth former at The Mount School, was the only pupil from a school in the north to be recognised in the RGS’s Young Geographer of the Year 2018 awards.

The competition invited pupils to explore the geography of the Arctic, a dynamic environment that is undergoing change, asking them, “What makes the Arctic unique?”

Isobel, who joined The Mount in the Sixth Form after graduating with her GCSE’s from Ryedale School and had studied climate change in the Arctic in the lower sixth form as part of the curriculum, said of her award: “I’d been reading National Geographic’s online magazine over the summer break and saw the competition.

"I felt very strongly that the paper must be my own work so I didn’t tell Mrs Cook -The Mount’s head of geography - about my entry until I’d already submitted it.”

Isobel said people thought of the Arctic as a 'vast, barren landscape' but it was actually rich in biodiversity.

“The indigenous people of the Arctic and the wildlife are each an intrinsic part of the landscape: when the landscape goes, so do they," she said."Environmental protection of the Arctic is crucial, not just for them but for all of us, globally.”

Mrs Cook said: "Izzy is a born geographer. She is applying to read geography at university and will be a significant asset wherever she goes to university and beyond.”

Michael Spiers, who heads The Mount’s Sixth Form, said: “Izzy’s accolade from the Royal Geographical Society is a phenomenal achievement, especially given the sheer number of people she was up against, well over a thousand. She has a compelling enthusiasm for geography and, to be honest, if anyone can solve climate change, it’s her!”

Adrienne Richmond, Principal of The Mount, said, “We are very proud of Izzy’s achievement and well-deserved recognition in a national competition. She showed commendable initiative in entering a competition on a subject that interests her.

"Her “can-do” attitude shows why Mount girls don’t just enjoy equal opportunities, but every opportunity. Our girls pursue subjects that interest them, free from the pressure of gender stereotypes and, as Izzy has shown, we empower each girl with the confidence to believe in herself.”