Lochdonhead Primary School in Mull has fought off stiff competition to win the top prize of £1,000 in a national environment competition.
Run by Scotland’s Environment Web and supported by SEPA, Keep Scotland Beautiful, Young Scot and Education Scotland, the “Our Environment” competition invites young people across Scotland between the ages of 6 and 18 to identify an environmental issue and submit their ideas on how they would improve it.
Two pupils from Lochdonhead represented the school when they attended the competition’s awards ceremony in the Scottish Parliament.
The school has already been busy transforming the school grounds by draining an existing pond, placing an old rowing boat in the area and preparing it to be planted in the spring. They have also made bird boxes and a bug hotel and have created pathways around the school using chips.
The school now plans to develop the grounds further by creating a conservation garden. The pupils are planning to use the prize money to erect a shed and create a small science laboratory in the school grounds where they can use various resources to study the flora and fauna. They plan on inviting the local community and other schools to go along and make use of it too.
Argyll and Bute Council’s Policy Lead for Education, Councillor Rory Colville said: “This is fantastic news for Lochdonhead Primary. Children are our future and this competition encourages young people to be aware of their surroundings and appreciate the environment they live in from a young age. It has enabled the pupils at Lochdonhead to share their ideas and become active citizens in their local community.
“The plans the children have for the prize money are very commendable and show a great sense of partnership working. Everyone involved should be very proud of their achievements.”
Martin Marsden, Chair of the Our Environment partners said, “We were very impressed by the standard of the entries received to this year’s competition and I’d like to thank all of those individuals, school classes and groups who took the time to submit an entry.
“I’d also like to congratulate all our winners. We were very impressed by the ideas; quality and enthusiasm showed in these entries, and the judges – all under 26 – had a very difficult time in choosing their overall winner.
“We decided on Lochdonhead Primary School because we felt the quality of their submission was superb. It showed that they had put a lot of work into their idea, and also that the benefits go beyond the school, into the wider community. We hope that the prize money will help them realise their vision."