On October 6, we held a Conservation Charity Day for a local school in West Lothian to transform an unused area of land into a sanctuary for bees, butterflies and birds!
The children from class P5/6 at Mid Calder Primary School had a fun day getting their hands dirty digging holes for their new cherry blossom and bamboo trees, which will provide a focal point for the schoolchildren and community to enjoy.
During the Covid19 lockdowns in Scotland, the children were tasked with coming up with ideas for repurposing an empty plot of land for conservation at the school. The winning design was a bug and wildlife garden, as voted by the students. We thought this was a brilliant idea, so we organised a charity day to bring their design to life.
The day started with a talk from West Lothian Council Rangers Nick McKinlay and Angharad Hopwood about the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, the importance of biodiversity, and what the children can do to protect wildlife in the local area.
It was great to see how enthusiastic the children are about conservation, with many raising their hands with excellent answers on the different kinds of insects and birds you can find in Scotland, and why it’s important we provide spaces for them to flourish.
We donated the materials the school needs to transform this section into a thriving garden for biodiversity, including wildlife-friendly plants, trees, bug and birdhouses, compost, planters, material for a pathway, and bird feeders.
The garden will have a sensory element for children featuring bamboo trees, a herb garden, and a variety of colourful pollinating flowers.
There will also be a wildflower garden, with seeds purchased from Scotia Seeds, the leading producer of wildflower seeds in Scotland.
All plants and items for the new garden were purchased from local garden centres, including J&R Veitch Garden Centre in East Calder. We also hired a local photographer to capture some photos of the children getting mucked in, which turned out to be a very muddy affair!
For their efforts, the children were gifted a square foot of land from our Eddleston plot, and were presented with certificates naming them Lords and Ladies of Eddleston!
The children were excited to learn that they now have their own piece of Scotland that will be used only for conservation, and left to grow in its natural state.
A tree will also be planted for each of the children by our partner, One Tree Planted.
The garden project will hopefully be complete by spring; locals in the community will also be able to enjoy the garden, as it’s located at the entrance to the school next to a busy walking path.
We are excited to see the finished garden in spring, and we will keep you updated with the progress of this project!
About Mid Calder
Mid Calder is a small village in Scotland that dates back to the 11th century; it was an important stopover location for drovers transporting cattle to the markets south to England, and was once home to nine pubs!
Much of the history of the village is evident today; the Black Bull Inn, established in the 1700s, is a popular pub with locals today.
The Kirk of Calder played an important role during the Scottish Reformation, hosting sermons from John Knox, the leader of the Reformation.
Witches were also tried at this church, and those found guilty were sadly burned at Cunnigar Hill, known as ‘Witches Hill’ to the locals.
Today Mid Calder is a Conservation Village and thriving nature spot, home to a variety of wildlife spotted including deer, hedgehogs, birdlife including heron and woodpeckers, and even otters!
It’s a lovely village to spend some time in; we recommend walking one of the woodland trails, and, of course, visiting the conservation garden at Mid Calder Primary School!