Penicuik nursery gains silver award

Penicuik's green crusaders with their Eco Schools Silver Award certificate
Penicuik's green crusaders with their Eco Schools Silver Award certificate

Some of Penicuik’s youngest residents have received national recognition for their crusade to improve the local environment.

The children at Pinocchio’s Children’s Nursery in Eastfield Drive, have successfully spearheaded the campaign to obtain a silver Eco Schools’ Award.

Nursery practitioner Georgie Laing worked with the two to five-year-olds for the past nine months on the project.

“They have loved it. They have absolutely loved it. They were involved in the decision making. All we (staff) have done is plan the activiities and let them get on with it,” said Georgie.

The Early Learning Room children formed an eco committee and created their own action plan to help develop the nursery’s eco status.

Georgie added: “The children have enjoyed growing vegetables and fruits, such as tomatoes and potatoes. The children helped create tyre planters for potatoes and helped to paint the wooden planters in the garden for herbs and flowers.
The children in the Junior Room planted vegetables in their garden for later use in their healthy lunches. The Baby and Toddler Room have been re-using plastic bottles to use as sensory toys indoors and in the garden.

Georgie continued: “As part of the Early Learning Room’s recycling topic the children learned about what we recycle and why we recycle. They enjoyed reusing cardboard boxes to use for dressing up and also plastic bottles, lids and cereal boxes for their junk modelling.”

One of the highlights of the project was a litter pick walk last month. “The children and parents really enjoyed walking from the nursery to the local Ladywood Park picking up the litter, which there was plenty of, for the children to learn more about keeping our town tidy,” said Georgie.

Midlothian Council’s Waste Awareness Team provided the nursery with recycling boxes for the children to use all nursery rooms, a new compost bin for our Junior and Baby garden and litter pickers for the litter walk.

The nursery’s eco committee is now looking to create a bug hotel in their garden to investigate biodiversity and are interested in learning about the water cycle.

The Eco Schools scheme is part of Keep Scotland Beautiful and was established in 1995. There are 58 registered schools in Midlothian.