Green fingers pick up a prize

14th December 2012 at 00:00
Elizabeth Buie reports on the small Lockerbie primary that won a major environmental contest

Pupils from Hutton Primary in Lockerbie have won a Scotland-wide environmental contest and a prize of pound;1,000 to help bring their green community idea to life.

The tiny primary school, with only 19 pupils, fought off stiff competition to win WWF Scotland's environmental community challenge, A Grand, Green Idea. Organised in partnership with the People's Postcode Lottery, which raises millions of pounds for charities and local communities each year, the competition challenged community groups all over the country to come up with an idea that would benefit their local environment.

The judges were "bowled over" by Hutton Primary Eco Group's scheme to set up a sustainable fresh fruit and vegetable production programme at the school.

The programme will see pupils learning about seasonal produce while growing their own fruit and vegetables within the school grounds. It is could also extend to the pupils' own gardens, with the help of family members and a tool library to provide equipment such as trowels and spades.

The group plans to use its pound;1,000 prize to purchase the tools, equipment and seeds to get started and bring its idea to life.

It also proposes to sell any additional produce at the school gates to the local community. With the nearest shop over seven miles away, this could help to reduce the community's overall food miles and carbon footprint by reducing car journeys.

Douglas Creighton, principal teacher at Hutton Primary, said: "As well as benefiting the pupils and wider community on an environmental level, the project provides a great opportunity to teach the children new skills as they develop an idea from concept through to implementation. They will also learn how to budget, as well as the importance of sustainability and healthy eating."

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