Bags of Help awards have transformed the garden experience at Ellon Academy, £10,000 helped establish and fence the school garden and a second award of £4,000 built a polytunnel classroom.

Ellon Academy garden is now fenced, rabbit free and has many raised beds abundant with vegetables and ornamental plants along with a fruit cage filled with lots of delicious berries. There are also rare trees that are endangered in the wild plus trained fruit trees to increase productivity in a small place. Making this happen involved pupils, staff and volunteers at the school erecting rabbit fencing and barrowing tonnes of gravel to cover drainage pipes. The pupils filled raised beds with topsoil, spread sand and learned from a volunteer how to lay slabs to build more paths. They also learnt pruning techniques. The large patio and paths they created are fully accessible for less able gardeners.

Further funding bought the polytunnel, timber, sand and slabs to lay the floor, build raised beds and buy basic equipment like tables and garden resources for sowing and growing. The polytunnel allows small groups to work around tables with messy tasks that can be swept up and tidied afterwards.

"Pupils can develop a wide range of skills through working outdoors and in groups. Through working with plants and soil, they develop confidence and become calmer. It is so beneficial for our vulnerable youngsters. The Polytunnel classroom can be set up to allow pupils to undertake practical tasks during inclement weather and that enables us to offer "Grow and Learn" Awards. We can also hold special occasions there. Building the polytunnel and surrounding garden has been a real team effort that has increased confidence and self-esteem of all pupils involved."

Susan Swallow, Additional Support for Learning Teacher

Key Facts
Location: Ellon, Aberdeenshire
Project type: Outdoor Improvements
Funding: £10,000 & £4,000
Grantee: Ellon Academy
Facebook: Ellon Academy Community Campus

View the printable pdf Ellon Academy School Garden

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Up to £2000 is available from Tesco Bags of Help to support a wide range of projects that benefit your local community. Tesco Bags of Help is administered by Groundwork working with greenspace scotland to support applicants and successful projects in Scotland. 
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