Ulva Primary wins gold for Argyll and Bute

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Ulva Primary School on the Isle of Mull has been awarded a gold award by the Woodland Trust for taking an active role in green activities on the island.

The trust’s Green Tree Schools initiative offers schools the opportunity to bring the great outdoors, wildlife and green issues into the classroom.

To achieve this award, pupils planted new trees on the Isle of Ulva; created artwork using natural materials; visited local woods; and completed woodland workshops with Countryside Ranger Jan Dunlop.

The children also increased recycling; created tree champions to be a voice for woods and trees; and held an assembly based on the uplifting story of The Man Who Planted Trees, whilst also discussing climate change and the importance of trees to everyone.

Pupils also explored the traditions of tree dressing around the world and held their own tree dressing ceremony, decorating one of the trees in the school grounds with Christmas wishes for the future and homemade fat balls for the birds.

Susie Carmichael, head teacher at Ulva Primary, said: ‘The children have worked really hard on a wide range of exciting challenges to achieve their bronze, silver and now gold Woodland Trust Award. This would not have been possible without the support of our wonderful community.

‘This has been a wonderful learning experience for the children and I’m so proud of them. They have become passionate about the vital part trees have to play in maintaining our environment.’

Argyll and Bute Council’s Policy Lead for Education, Councillor Yvonne Mcneilly, said: ‘This is a fabulous initiative by the Woodland Trust that gives children the opportunity to explore the natural world from a number of different perspectives.

‘Outdoor learning has a whole host of benefits. Not only does it boost children’s development, it encourages empathy through nature and promotes positive mental health and wellbeing.

‘The work done by the staff and pupils at Ulva Primary through Green Trees School has opened up a new world of experiences to the whole school community. I am extremely proud of their achievements and their commitment to the project. Well done.