Jura’s budding gardeners win with wildlife patch

Pupils from Small Isles Primary School in Argyll and Bute have won best wildlife garden in the seventh annual Pocket Garden Design Competition, run by environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful.

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Pupils from Small Isles Primary School on the Isle of Jura have won best wildlife garden in the seventh annual Pocket Garden Design Competition, run by environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful.

The youngsters was awarded a Certificate of Recognition for their ‘Fantastic Bees and Where to Find Them’ design.

Following the success of the online showcase in 2021, when 38 designs were displayed to allow a public vote, this year 340 entries were received from across Scotland. Of these, 45 won a place in a digital showcase and only eight were awarded a Certificate of Recognition.

First, second and third places in the public vote were won by Moore House Academy in Bathgate, the Anna Ritchie School of Special Education in Aberdeenshire and Garrowhill Primary School in Glasgow.

Schools developed environmentally friendly designs for a tiny garden telling a story, reflecting the themes of the 2022 Year of Stories, One Planet Picnic and Wildlife Gardening.

Stories are a vital part of culture and community, from well-loved tales of family and friends to famous fictional characters, they all give a sense of place, history and belonging. There are fables, legends, folklore, news stories, novels, fairy stories, investigative journalism and myths to draw inspiration from and the young people celebrated that through their imaginative competition entries.

Nicola Davidson, Education and Learning Officer for Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: ‘Congratulations to Small Isles Primary School for achieving a Certificate of Recognition in this year’s competition. The pupils worked so hard to design and grow a pocket garden telling a unique story.

‘This year’s competition encouraged children to tell their own stories, a wonderful part of our culture, through their garden designs. We are delighted schools and young people throughout Scotland found the benefits of this competition in learning, teaching and celebrating things that are important to them and their environment.’

Ella McClellan, Outreach Co-ordinator for Scottish Book Trust, who was involved in the judging, said: ‘Reading books you love and spending time in nature are both proven ways of reducing stress and anxiety. Delving into new worlds through books, or discovering the vibrant wildlife around you, can also help you to feel less isolated and lonely.

‘This lovely project brings both together in a powerfully beneficial combination and I have really enjoyed ‘reading’ these garden narratives. It has been exciting to see the creative experimental gardens in this competition, ones that are unique to the young people who have designed them.’

The winning Pocket Gardens are still available to view in the digital showcase at www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/pocketgarden.

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