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Primary Schools Buzzing with Excitement about Bee Competition

Published Wednesday, 1st October 2014 in Oatridge Campus news

Primary School Buzzing, rural connect

The excited buzz from school pupils around the West Lothian Schools’ Bee Garden Competition has ended with Dedridge Primary declared the winner.

Over 30 local primary schools took part in the challenge where they had to design and plant up an area of their school grounds as a welcoming spot for bees and other pollinating insects

In the end, the competition was whittled down to four finalists: Dedridge Primary, Ogilvie School Campus, Williamston Primary and Stoneyburn Primary. Dedridge just scooped the £400 voucher for Dobbies Garden Centre, however the other finalists were presented with mature Dawn Redwood’s trees donated by SRUC’s Oatridge Campus.

While all the schools worked hard on their bee friendly gardens, the winning primary went over and above; opening up a new gardening area which included 12 barrels (one for every class) donated from a local brewery, they also planted up an old boat and their entry boasted a brilliant wildflower strip that no other school managed.

The competition was developed by the Rural Connect Project, which is funded by LEADER, Lottery Heritage and Scotland’s Rural College. For this project they also brought in partners the Edinburgh and Midlothian Beekeeping Association and Dobbies Garden Centres.

Bernice Keegan from the Rural Connect Project, said: “All the schools involved showed great enthusiasm for the project and have some fantastic ideas for the future of their bee gardens. I would like to say a big thank you to everyone for taking part and happy gardening for the future.”

The schools taking part were encouraged to get outdoors and create new planting areas as well as look at the present problems facing bees in the modern world, including issues such as modern agricultural practices, disease, destruction of habitats and the decline of wildflowers.

The winning school was chosen after a panel of judges from the Rural Connect Project and the Edinburgh and Midlothian Beekeepers Association travelled to the four competing schools to compare them and establish a winner.

Mareion Hurst of the Edinburgh and Midlothian Beekeeping Association, said: “I have been very pleased to be involved in this project, also to have had the opportunity to visit schools and hear the students’ enthusiasm for helping bees. Visiting Ogilvie Campus was particularly satisfying when we saw some of our own bees working on their plants. It is very important for all of us, that young people feel connected to nature and are able to take part in such projects helping bees and other insects to thrive in our local areas.”

The runners-up prizes, the trees supplied by Horticulture tutor and SRUC representative George Gilchrist, were donated to the College by the Caledonian Tree Company. The trees are grown in unique Air-Pots, a new Scottish horticulture invention which helps increase oxygen circulation to the trees’ roots.

Photo Caption: Dedridge Primary School pupils celebrate their win

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