School project wins RSPB commendation

Chris Packham (TV presenter), Euan McIlwraith (Radio Presenter BBC Scotland), Keith Walker (Outdoor Learning Coordinator), Connor Bradley (pupil), Anna Johnson (National Scenic Area Officer, D&G Council), Jessica Hamlet (Pupil), Joe Taylor (Pupil), Kirsty McColm (Pupil) and Professor Pete Higgins (Edinburgh University). 'Picture must be credited to Simon Williams
Chris Packham (TV presenter), Euan McIlwraith (Radio Presenter BBC Scotland), Keith Walker (Outdoor Learning Coordinator), Connor Bradley (pupil), Anna Johnson (National Scenic Area Officer, D&G Council), Jessica Hamlet (Pupil), Joe Taylor (Pupil), Kirsty McColm (Pupil) and Professor Pete Higgins (Edinburgh University). 'Picture must be credited to Simon Williams

A local schools project designed to encourage children to explore the outdoors has received a certificate of commendation from the RSPB – Nature of Scotland Awards.

“Lie of the Land” was a multi-agency educational project carried out in some of Dumfries and Galloway’s National Scenic Areas during May 2013.

The project involved 19 students from four different secondary schools (Jessica Hamlet, Castle Douglas High School; Joe Taylor, Dalry; Connor Bradley of Kirkcudbright Academy and Kirsty McColm from the Douglas Ewart) taking part in a range of outdoor activities, and recording their responses.

The resultant film and booklet received national recognition recently when it was nominated in the Youth and Education category of the prestigious “Nature of Scotland” awards run by the RSPB.

Much to the surprise of all involved, particularly given the standard of the other nominees, the project received a “Highly Commended” certificate from the judging panel. One pupil from each of the four schools involved attended the ceremony at the Sheraton Hotel in Edinburgh on Thursday 20th November. They received their award from television presenter Chris Packham, Radio Scotland’s Euan McIlwraith and Professor Pete Higgins of Edinburgh University.

Councillor Jeff Leaver, Chair of Education Committee, said: “The ‘Lie of the Land’ project is a great example of the work this Council is doing to give our children the best start in life.

“Supporting young people in leading healthy and active lives is vital in providing them with the best start in life.

“The project also encourages inclusivity by ensuring local people make the most of the assets our region has to offer, including the natural environment.”