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  • Writer's pictureAyrshire Daily News

It’s all systems ‘grow’ for green-fingered gurus

Pupils at schools in East Ayrshire have been hard at work becoming green-fingered gurus, thanks to a superb ‘Green Gym’ project, run by The Conservation Volunteers (TCV).

Green Gyms are active, outdoor sessions offering hands-on learning and guidance in practical activities such as planting trees and sowing meadows.

For six months, East Ayrshire Council’s Learning Outdoors Support Team partnered with TCV to support eight schools in the area to develop Green Gyms with pupils – and a lot of fun learning took place!

Eight Green Gyms in local schools now offer hundreds of pupils (and teachers) a unique opportunity to improve the greenspaces within their schools, develop new habitat for wildlife and support the health and wellbeing of the pupils.

As the greenspaces become established, they also become available for use by the wider school community.

Councillor Stephanie Primrose, East Ayrshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Skills and Learning said: “TCV has done an excellent job in helping our young people develop their conservation, wildlife and environmental skills in an exciting way – and there’s no better way to learn than by getting hands on!

“We now have eight new Green Gyms in the area and I look forward to seeing how these grow and develop in the years ahead, as our green-fingered gurus turn them into something truly special.”

Celebrating the success of the initiative, a garden party was held at Cumnock Academy with guided tours of their Green Gym.

Pupils happily discussed their experiences of the Green Gym, what they’d learned and how these skills and new knowledge could help them in the future.

A short networking and lesson learning session was hosted by TCV to share the highlights and key aspects of the project.

Discussions followed on how more opportunities can be created to increase the number of pupils actively involved in improving greenspaces in and around school grounds.

Councillor Primrose concluded: “Opportunities such as this help schools deliver on the developing young workforce agenda, with pupils learning new skills and research has shown health benefits associated with connections to natural spaces can really impact on pupils’ abilities to concentrate, engage and retain learning concepts.

So, as they say, ‘watch this (green) space!’


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