News

Kids have plenty of bottle as plastic greenhouse goes on show
22/06/2006
Issued: June 22 2006

Kids have plenty of bottle as plastic greenhouse goes on show

An environmentally friendly greenhouse made of recycled plastic bottles takes pride of place at a primary school this week.

The 30 children at Stratherrick Primary School in the village of Gorthleck,
Inverness-shire, have spent the last few months helping to construct the
greenhouse from 1,400 recycled plastic bottles.

It forms part of the school's "Great Grounds Galore" scheme, an
environmental project focusing on biodiversity and the use of recycling
methods.

And as well as the greenhouse a pond has been created along with a large willow "outdoor classroom and fort" planted by an expert from Rogart, Sutherland. There is also an organic vegetable garden where produce is grown for the school kitchen inside old tractor tyres.

The children have also learned about organic gardening techniques including composting and gardening for wildlife.

The scheme has been awarded 3,800 from Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) with other funding from Awards for All and the Highland Council. It has raised awareness of waste and recycling issues locally and given schoolchildren an insight into some of the issues surrounding waste management in Scotland.

The children were also keen to enter a Scotland-wide competition. The
Stratherrick School Grounds Project is one of 10 schools in Scotland to enter
BBC Radio Scotland's Beechgrove Garden Schools' Competition and the school saw its efforts justified by winning joint first prize.

And tomorrow (Friday June 23) children at the two-teacher Stratherrick Primary School will host an open day to allow parents and community leaders to see the greenhouse and gardens for themselves.

Stratherrick Primary School head teacher Angela Cryans explained the school was delighted to share the joint first prize as it was suitable reward for pupils'
efforts.

"We are very proud that the childrens' hard work has been recognised in
this way," she said.

"The children winning joint first prize in a competition across Scotland is a
major boost for them. We are grateful to SNH for the grant and this initiative has allowed the children to see the benefit of recycling and sustainable land use."

The project is closely linked with the local environmental group Boleskine
Environmental Network (BEN) and forms part of Stratherrick Primary School's
bid for a Green Flag Award within the Eco School's project.

It is managed by the school's eco-committee which comprises pupils, community members and parents.

Heather Macleod, a volunteer with BEN, said pupils' imaginations were fired
when one child asked what happened to plastic bottles in the Highlands, which is without a recycling plant.

"The children started collecting bottles last August and they finally
collected enough in February to allow the greenhouse frame to be built," she
confirmed.

"They have been busy collecting bottles in and around the community. The
greenhouse was a three-day intensive building project and the children have been absolutely brilliant - they have been so enthusiastic about it."

Anne Murray, SNH's area officer, said: "An important fact to remember is
that the children have learned about waste and recycling issues through helping to build their greenhouse as well as being able to grow produce for their school kitchen.

"The SNH grant helped children at Stratherrick Primary School achieve their
aim of building a sustainable greenhouse using recycled materials in a project
that will benefit their local community. SNH's contribution will also lead to
a quality wildlife garden and give the children the chance to learn more about
the natural heritage the area has to offer."


ENDS

Notes to editors

You are invited to send a reporter and photographer to Stratherrick Primary School at 2.30-4.30pm on Friday June 23.

Great Grounds Galore is an environmental project which focuses on biodiversity and using recycling methods. It has been carried out since December with grant aid also from Awards for All, the Highland Council and assistance from the local community and the Senior Ranger for Inverness and Nairn.

Scottish Natural Heritage is the Scottish Executive's statutory advisor in
respect to the conservation, enhancement, enjoyment, understanding and
sustainable use of the natural heritage.


For further information contact:

Fergus Macneill, SNH Inverness: 01463 706402
Anne Murray, SNH Dingwall: 01349 865333
Heather Macleod 01456 486774