Academy pupils go green at woodland

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A GROUP of pupils at Peterhead Academy have created a special path at a Community Woodland, as part of an environmental award.

The S5 pupils cut back around 500 metres of coniferous forest at the woodland on the outskirts of the town, creating ‘The Academy Trail’ for walkers and school groups.

The five strong group worked pruning branches and clearing the path for more than a term, beginning in August last year, as part of the two level John Muir Award.

Principal Teacher of Social Studies Diane Ritchie said: “It was really good for the young people as it have them a bit of experience in health and safety as well as getting them out of the classroom.”

“It really helped to develop their confidence and risk assessment skills. They were able to use problem solving and leadership skills too.”

The pupils worked as a team to build ‘habitat piles’ and developed an outdoor game to help younger pupils identify different types of plants and trees, meeting the requirements for the Discovery part of the Award.

Shanice Ballantyne (16) explains: “We worked as a group and it was really good to be outdoors instead of just in the classroom.”

In order to acquire the Explorer Part of the Award, the group have sent out a survey to fellow Academy pupils to ask what they would like to see improved about the school campus. Some of the ideas included a graffiti wall, assault course and more trees and plants. The group are now hard at work revitalising a communal garden thanks to grants from Score, Total, E&P and Reaching Out.