Farr pupils have 'sow' much fun designing and planting their new school garden

Farr Primary School pupils have been busy working with Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks’ (SSEN) Knocknagael-Tomatin project team to upgrade their school garden, and recently held the official opening party where they showcased the fruits of their endeavour in the fantastic summer sunshine.

With the focus on ensuring the garden was inclusive for everyone at the school, the pupils put their thinking caps on and formed their own project management team, bringing a real communal feel to the project, with everyone’s thoughts and ideas discussed to assess their suitability before the spades, shovels and hoes came out.

SSEN and its principal contractor MSVE Transmission have been constructing a new substation nearby as part of the Knocknagael – Tomatin project, which will help meet the demand for more connections to SSEN’s transmission network from renewable generation. When the Farr pupils approached them for technical support and advice, it was a great chance for the project team to share years of architectural, engineering and planning experience with the youngsters. With everyone working together, it didn’t take long for the seeds of an idea to take root and blossom into reality.

As well as helping the pupils and teachers with advice and project management tips, SSEN staff and teams from MVSE Transmission also helped with the heavy lifting and moving. In addition MVSE Transmission  paid for the new surfacing and planters which made such a difference to the garden’s visual appeal.

Some of the work carried out included the removal of the stone chips, lowering the flower baskets to allow even the youngest in the school to water them and planting more flowers to make the garden to encourage passing bees to visit. Not only has the visual appeal of the garden been improved, all the hard work has resulted a more relaxed space for pupils and teachers alike to enjoy.

SSEN Overhead Line Project Manager, Joanne Seath, explains more:

“As a responsible developer we are always looking for ways to be a good neighbour in the local community, and working with the pupils has been not only great fun, but also really rewarding for our team. Listening to the children’s ideas, sharing our own thoughts and advice with them and then seeing the project develop into such a beautiful finished project has been an experience we will all remember for a very long time.”

Amanda Menzies, one of the teachers who helped oversee the garden redesign, said that this project offered the pupils so much more than just the gardening work itself:

“Redesigning the garden wasn’t just about the sowing and planting, the project gave all the pupils the chance to learn and develop invaluable life skills, such as working together, social skills and resilience. We now have a lovely garden that will be used as a learning space, and we have lots of interesting teaching planned for the new session when it starts.

 “This engineering project has also been a springboard for us as a school to apply for a John Muir Award, and it is great that a lot of the pupils can look at the garden and know that they played an important part in its creation.”

About the author

Van on rural road

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

We're responsible for maintaining the electricity networks supplying over 3.7 million homes and businesses across central southern England and north of the Central Belt of Scotland. We own one electricity transmission network and two electricity distribution networks, comprising 106,000 substations and 130,000 km of overhead lines and underground cables across one third of the UK. Our first priority is to provide a safe and reliable supply of electricity to the communities we serve in Scotland and England.

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