A Labrador owned by a Chesham boy has become the first dog in the UK to join the fight against air pollution - by recording pollutants near ground level.

Bagheera - Baggy for short - wears a pollution monitor close to her collar so she can take recordings close to the ground.

Her research has helped identify concerns that babies and toddlers may be at most risk of lung problems as it found air pollution was worse closer to ground level.

Conventional air pollution monitors are normally mounted higher up on lamp-posts.

The doggy data research was the idea of Baggy's owner Tom Hunt, 13, and his dad Matt.

One-year-old Baggy has been measuring air pollution with Tom since she was a puppy.

Tom, from Chesham, quickly realised that pollution levels are around two-thirds higher close to the ground than they are in the air, at the height where the Environment Agency typically records them.

Air pollution monitors, like the one that Baggy wears around her collar during walks, are typically placed nine feet, or 2.7 metres, in the air, at the top of lampposts.

But Baggy stands at just 2.5 feet from the ground - 0.75 metres - roughly the same height as a child in a pushchair - and she frequently records pollution levels which far exceed the standard data.

Tom, who has been firm friends with his beloved dog since the family got her at just five weeks old, said: "I am really proud of Baggy, I think our research is really important.

"People need to recognise that it is us young people and kids who are suffering the most from air pollution, and something needs to be done about it urgently."

Baggy is thought to be the first dog in the UK, if not the world, to join the fight against air pollution in this way.

And Tom has reported their shocking findings to the government, and Buckinghamshire County Council, in an attempt to highlight that infants are at higher risk of asthma.

Tom's proud dad Matt Hunt, 47, said: "The whole purpose of this is that Tom really does want to do some good and stop young kids from getting asthma.

"The national data is skewed. The pollution monitors are ordinarily hung upside down from lampposts, a lot higher up, to avoid vandalism.

"But this gives a completely different, flawed result.

"We have about 40 to 45 hours of data now, which has shown that pollution levels are about two-thirds higher closer to the ground."

Matt, who owns alternative energy firm Bio Global Industries, said his son has had a passion for the environment since he was very young.

"He became aware of environmental studies at a very early age, about seven or eight years old," Matt said.

"He built up a passion for it, and he became very interested in gadgets, so he started to do some research to see if he could monitor pollution levels for himself.

"About 14 months ago, he got this new piece of tech which is like a test tube.

"One Sunday afternoon, we went out to do some monitoring, and I said, why don't we take Baggy with us?

"We put a pollution monitor around her collar, and let her monitor the pollution levels lower down.

"It just happened completely by chance," Matt added.

The family have now contacted government department DEFRA (Department For Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs) with their data - and say it is up to DEFRA to act on it.

And Tom and Baggy's research also contributes to the Plume app, which uses mobile phone location settings to let people know how air pollution is affecting their area.

Matt said there are a few key things that can be done to help guard youngsters against suffering asthma attacks.

He said: "The main thing is to keep them above exhaust level. Get them a higher pushchair, like the old-style ones, to keep them higher up from the ground."

And Matt added that he is "very proud" of his son, saying: "When he gets an idea, he keeps his head down and gets on with it."

And as for Baggy - when she's not helping the environment, she enjoys her regular dog days.

Tom said: "Most of the time Baggy is just like any other dog, she doesn't like the hoover and she loves to pull the stuffing out of her teddies.

"But for the rest of the time she is a super dog, and we are all really proud of her."