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Young environmentalists encouraged to design their own pocket garden

The One Planet Picnic Pocket Garden design challenge for Scottish schools has kicked off for 2018.

We've launched a nationwide search for schools across Scotland to participate in the third annual Pocket Garden Competition - which will see pupils come up with creative gardening designs, competing for their creations to form part of a pivotal display at the national gardening and outdoor living show, Gardening Scotland.

Primary and secondary pupils from across the country are being encouraged to develop designs for a garden which reflects the 2018 themes of Wildlife Gardening, One Planet Picnic and the United Nations Global Goals, utilising plants that can be eaten and attract biodiversity, and reusing materials which would otherwise be thrown away.

The competition encourages children’s awareness, skills and understanding of food and the environment in a fun, hands on and informal manner. A team of mentors is on hand to offer advice to schools on designing, building and planting a pocket garden. The winning schools will be selected by a panel of judges including an independent garden designer and representatives from Keep Scotland Beautiful, and the Garden for Life Forum. The winning entries will be created to form the main feature of the Garden for Life area at Gardening Scotland, which will take place in June 2018.

The deadline for designs is Friday 9 February.

Eve Keepax, Food and Environment Officer, said: “For the third year running we are excited to be launching our annual One Planet Picnic Pocket Garden Competition. Since 2016 we have inspired schools from 29 of Scotland’s 32 local authority areas to take part and we hope that more young people than ever before will participate this year as part of their 2018 Year of Young People activity.

“This competition is a practical and fun way to learn about growing food, thinking about a positive food future and developing creative design skills. We hope to find a team of eager and innovative designers whose creations will feature at Gardening Scotland later in the year.”

Anthony McCluskey, Chairperson of the Garden for Life Forum, said: “It’s more important than ever that we help our young people to enjoy being outdoors, getting their hands dirty and growing food and flowers for the benefit of themselves, their families, and our wildlife. Designing and building gardens can help children express their creative sides in interesting and innovative ways, and the emphasis on recycling and using environmentally-friendly practises will hopefully make everyone more aware of how we can live sustainably

Further information about the competition can be found on the pocket garden pages along with inspiring stories and photos from previous years.

10 January 2018

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