Pupils tackle fouling problem

The pupils are pictured with their designs at the community council meeting.
The pupils are pictured with their designs at the community council meeting.

Pupils at Portpatrick Primary School have turned eco warriors to clean up their village and to tackle pollution in the wider environment.

And their efforts began with tackling one of the environmental scourges of any community – dog fouling.

Having noticed an increase in dog fouling around the village, they designed their own posters to display around the community as a way of tackling the issue.

They then contacted a number of Dumfries and Galloway Council departments with the Community Safety Team, which enforces environmental legislation, assisting with various projects.

After receiving a presentation about the team’s role, they looked together at other successful campaigns run by schools throughout the area.

They eventually turned their attention to other matters and on National Outdoor Classroom Day last month, they learned how to carry out a litter survey, similar to those conducted three times a year in the region by Keep Scotland Beautiful. As well as locating areas of dog fouling and litter – usually plastic – the largest number of items was cigarette ends, which include plastic in their filters and take a long time to biodegrade.

David Telford, chairman of Portpatrick Community Council, said: “The pupils feel that all parts of the community need to pull together to keep Portpatrick looking good and the visitors returning. Although the council has the ultimate responsibility to keep the area clean and tidy, we can all help by even the simple task of using the bins provided.”

The school is now tackling the use of single use plastics and as well as engaging with the Solway Firth Partnership about plastic in the sea, they are working with the council to identify plastics in school use.

Recently three pupils – Lachlan, Mia and Innes – attended the community council’s meeting to give a presentation to the members about their environmental projects. The children’s posters will be erected around the village in the near future and their Their designs can be viewed at http://portpatrickcommunitycouncil.org/index.php/pooposters/

Mr Telford added: “All of the community councillors welcome the involvement of the children. Their messages are strong, clear and zero tolerance. Let us hope that the irresponsible owners finally get the message.”