Green boost for Eastfield

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Cumbernauld’s Eastfield Primary School has launched a green revolution – thanks to a grant of just over £1,500 from a special projects fund.

The school has transformed what had been an ordinary outdoor area into an exciting outdoor learning environment, using cash from the Central Scotland Green Network Community Projects Fund.

The area now has a growing space for each class as well as bird boxes and feeders, giving pupils daily personal contact with features which help increase their awareness of nature and biodiversity.

The new features also encourage them to think about food growth and healthy eating.

Carol Stewart, eco coordinator at Eastfield, said: “The new outdoor learning garden is fantastic, providing the children with the chance to understand nature and the environment.

“The pupils have all commented on the increase in small birds now coming into the school grounds and they are very excited about the buddleja (“butterfly bush”) plants which are an excellent source of food for bees and butterflies.”

Supported by Forestry Commission Scotland, the fund provided one-off grants of up to £3,000 to support small scale projects at a grass roots level to improve their local greenspace and enhance their environment.

Besides improving these areas they also help to deliver important education benefits.

The fund is directed at ventures which benefit children and young people under 16.

Some 26 environmental community projects across the central belt received a share of this year’s £60,244 total.

Keith Geddes, chairman of the Central Scotland Green Network Trust, said: “The CSGN fund has supported grass roots projects across the region in creating valuable outdoor resources.

“Eastfield Primary School is a fantastic example of a project which has undertaken improvements to promote outdoor learning and natural play for children and to encourage them to take part in community growing activities to inspire healthy eating.

“Small-scale local initiatives are instrumental in achieving our goal of creating a high-quality green network across central Scotland to improve the quality of life for local communities.”