Pupils at a Milngavie primary school are celebrating almost two years of growing their own organic fruit and veg, with help from supermarket funding.
Milngavie Nursery and Primary School received £12,000 through Tesco’s Bags of Help programme in 2016.
The money was used to turn an area of waste ground into a community orchard, and to set up a polytunnel which now houses seedlings, soft fruit bushes, and dwarf fruit trees.
As part of the project – Once Upon An Orchard – pupils have learned how to grow blueberries, apples, peas, plums and greengages, and have also been involved in creating a bird, bee and butterfly friendly environment.
While the orchard and its produce are maintained by the school, pupils are keen to point out that it’s for the use of the whole community – and this summer, they hope to celebrate their two years in style.
Teacher Kate Cameron said: “This is a fantastic resource and provides the children with exciting and engaging outdoor experiences.
“Children from both nursery and primary classes get the chance to see the process of growing fruit and veg right from the outset – from preparing the conditions for planting and watching the seedlings grow into plants, right through to harvesting and eating the produce.
“The youngsters learn a lot of different transferable skills too – it’s all about team working and problem solving, and we even do our maths outside sometimes.
“We couldn’t have created this fantastic community resource without help from Tesco.”
Tony McElroy, head of communications for Tesco in Scotland, said: “This is another wonderful example of how Bags of Help funding can help our communities thrive.
“As well as encouraging outdoor education, the creation of the community orchard has brought people of all ages together. It’s great to see our funding having such a positive intergenerational impact.
“We’re looking forward to seeing how the project progresses.”
Bags of Help grants of £4,000, £2,000 and £1,000 are available every two months in each of the 575 local voting regions across England Scotland and Wales.
The scheme, run in partnership with greenspace scotland, sees funding awarded to thousands of local community projects every year.
Find out more about the scheme at www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp.