Milton kids dig deep to protect wildlife

Pupils from Milton of Balgonie Primary School have been praised for their hard work and enthusiasm in working alongside the game and Wildlife Trust to help improve the environment at Balgonie Estates.
Pupils from Milton of Balgonie Primary School have been praised for their hard work and enthusiasm in working alongside the game and Wildlife Trust to help improve the environment at Balgonie Estates.

Green fingered youngsters from a local village have harnessed their enthusiasm for local wildlife to help make a lasting impression on the environment around them.

Pupils from Milton of Balgonie Primary School came away determined to do their bit to help wildlife conservation after a visit to nearby Balgonie Estates in April.

And that desire was put into practice this week when around 20 pupils and staff teamed up with members of the Game and Wildlife Trust (GAWT)to help with an extensive programme of hedge clearances and the planting of over 350 species of suitable plants as part of an effort to create new habitats for a range of birds and insects.

“As the school pupils were very much inspired by what they learned on their day out in the field in the spring, they wanted to know what they could do to get actively involved as a class to take responsibility for a conservation project,” explained Sheena Stewart, from GAWT.

“They have worked extremely hard and were very enthusiastic.”

Balgonie Estates generously provided a variety of plants and with the assistance of John Drysdale of Kingdom Farming who manage the farm, an area has been now put aside and prepared for the children to plant out their hedge.

The school children will also continue to keep a close eye on the maintenance of the hedge as it becomes established.

Siobhan Haldane, head teacher at Milton of Balgonie Primary School said the pupils were keen to get involved in whatever way they could, both initially and in the longer term .

And as an added bonus the 20 hours of hard work put in by the pupils will also go a long way to helping the school in achieving their Natural Connections outdoor learning programme level three grade. If successful they will become the only primary school in Fife to have done so.

“I can’t tell you how encouraging it is to see pupils taking an active interest in efforts to preserve and protect the wildlife around them,” added Sheena.

“Not only does it give them ownership in their local environment, they are more likely to respect it in later years.

“Their efforts have mad a huge positive impact and that has to be celebrated.”