Funding boost for school’s pollinators project

Nine-year-old Elisha Nisbet of Davidson's Mains eco-committee. Pic: Esme Allen

Nine-year-old Elisha Nisbet of Davidson's Mains eco-committee. Pic: Esme Allen

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A SCHOOL is “buzzing” after being given funding to re-plant its urban meadow to attract wildlife.

Davidson’s Mains Primary has been part of a scientific study to improve understanding of urbanisation on insect pollinators.

The Urban Pollinators Project – where pupils have helped sow a meadow for the past two years – is now in its final year.

However, the school was keen to continue its environmental efforts and applied to the Evening News’ Get it Sorted Together campaign for financial help.

Teacher Diarmid Harris said the school had been working hard to improve the biodiversity of its grounds.

He said: “The meadow has been the focus of many different lessons involving maths, art and science with all classes in the school.

“An annual meadow has been sown for the last two years which has been admired by parents, pupils and passers-by.

“Unfortunately, the project is due to end this year and the school’s eco-committee, with the help of parents, wish to sow a perennial meadow to enhance permanently the front lawn of the school.

“We were all delighted to hear the bid has been successful. It means the students can keep up their work on the meadow and continue to improve the biodiversity of the school.”

The joint study, which has involved scientists from Edinburgh and three other UK universities, was the first city-wide survey of its kind to assess the role of all-urban habitat.

It aimed to look at how urban areas could be made more pollinator-friendly. As well as creating the meadow, the school has improved its environmental footprint by planting several hundred trees, an orchard and creating a marsh area.

Work will soon begin getting the land ready for the new field of flowers. Grass will be killed off, the ground will be cultivated to produce a fine seed bed and then the meadow will be seeded.

The perennial meadow is expected to have some flowers by next year but will be in full bloom by 2015.

Pupils on the eco-committee hope to boost the £500 funding for wildflower seed mix and gardening equipment costs by selling willow decorations, harvested from the school grounds, at their Christmas fair.

The school is the latest beneficiary of the joint campaign by the Evening News and Edinburgh City Council to help improve local communities.

To apply for a grant, visit the council website at www.edinburgh.gov.uk and search for “Get It Sorted Together”.