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Schools can enter environmental charity's pocket garden competition

By Kyle Ritchie

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North-east school pupils have been encouraged to enter Keep Scotland Beautiful's sixth annual Pocket Garden Design Competition.

Children, from as young as three, are being challenged by the environmental charity to design a colourful and sustainable garden that could feature at the Scottish Gardens Show at Scone Palace in late May if restrictions allow, and if not in an interactive online showcase.

Many people have found joy as they rediscovered the nature on their doorsteps during lockdown, and the competition encourages young people to celebrate that through their designs.

Following the great success of pocket gardens in past years, schools from across Scotland are being encouraged to take part and develop designs which reflect the four interlinked 2021 themes. These are The Year of Coasts and Waters; One Planet Picnic; Wildlife Gardening; and Health and Wellbeing through noticing nature.

Keep Scotland Beautiful's education and learning officer Eve Keepax said: “It’s a great competition with new opportunities. This year an Activities at Home sheet is available to inspire children to get involved while learning at home.

"We are excited to work with Scotland’s brand-new national gardening event – The Scottish Gardens Show at Scone Palace – to celebrate and share the innovation and creativity of young garden designers.

“This competition over the years has inspired entries from across the country and we hope that in 2021 it gives parents and educators a new focus as we continue a blended mix of home and in school learning.”

Anthony McCluskey, chairman of the Garden for Life Forum, who will be involved in the judging, said: “2020 winners, that were not able to display their pocket gardens last year when the event was cancelled due to lockdown, will join winning Pocket Gardens from 2021. Double joy – winning designs from two years to see.”

Head Gardener at Scone Palace and organiser of The Scottish Garden Show Brian Cunningham said: “One of the aims of The Scottish Gardens Show is to showcase approaches to gardening that benefit the health of both people and the planet and it is crucial to involve children and young people as part of the life blood of the show.

"The pocket gardens are a perfect fit and I’m looking forward to the inspiration and fun they will bring to the show.”

Pupils are invited to submit their entries no later than March 17 to oneplanetpicnic@keepscotlandbeautiful.org

Further information and inspiration from past years can be found at www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/pocketgarden

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