A NURSERY cook is encouraging entries for an environment competition.
Diane Lamont, who won last year’s WWF’s Earth Hour’s Hidden Heroes competition, is lending her support to the organisation’s new Eco Challenge contest.
The cook, who works at Strawberry Hill Nursery in Newington, was honoured after encouraging its children to think about the environment by growing vegetables and maintaining its greenhouse.
The project started three years ago when one of the pre-school children asked Diane, 54, about food’s origin. The child’s curiosity was the beginning of an initially small plot of land in the nursery’s backyard, which has since been developed.
Since winning the competition, Diane has invested the £500 prize money into building a pond in the nursery’s nature garden. The nursery is planning on buying a camera and planting fruit trees to help teach children the important role of insects and bees.
She helped inspire the WWF’s new Eco Challenge, which calls on entrants to submit ideas to improve the environment of their neighbourhood, school/university or workplace.
It comes ahead of Earth Hour, which sees homes and landmarks – such as Edinburgh Castle – plunged into darkness for 60 minutes from 8.30pm on Saturday, March 19.
Diane said: “Winning the Earth Hour Hidden Heroes award really inspired me to get creative with conservation ideas for the children.
“The prize money has helped to create an interactive environment to learn about nature and I can’t wait to hear the innovative ideas others will come up with this year for the new WWF Eco Challenge.
“I hope the competition provides a great platform to encourage everyone to get involved with this year’s Earth Hour and inspire future generations to think about their impact on the planet.”
She added: “The children at Strawberry Hill love participating in our engaging eco-activities and I hope that this award will help inspire others to get children thinking about how they can help protect our amazing planet from an early age.”
Entries for the Eco Challenge must be submitted at earthhour.wwf.org.uk/eco-challenge/ by Monday.
Thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, the best entry in each category will win £500 to put towards their eco-idea, as well as an invitation to an exclusive Earth Hour event.
Lang Banks, director of WWF Scotland, said: “It’s fantastic to see what Diane has gone on to achieve since winning our Hidden Heroes award. For many people just like Diane, Earth Hour is a catalyst for change and during the hour, many people start to think about small lifestyle changes that would have a big impact on the future of our planet. This year we want to kick-start these changes and challenge the nation to think big.”