Pupils from Moyle Primary are to bring their learning experience into the great outdoors with the opening of a new educational garden.
The idea for the innovative new space was devised by members of the school’s Eco Club along with primary five teacher, Lindsay Barr.
Featuring a number of play areas, including sand, soil and gravel pits, the garden will also have a herb and vegetable patch and a storytelling corner.
Central to the open space is a mosaic pathway, with stepping stones designed by the children following an eight-week workshop with local artist Dawn Aston.
The project came together thanks to a £5,000 grant from the NGO Challenge Fund in conjunction with a number of fundraising events by children from the school, including a massively successful ’Welly Walk’ which raised over £6,000.
Cutting the ribbon to officially open the garden were the school’s two top fundraisers, primary one pupils Jodie Smith and Elise Kane.
Speaking at Moyle Primary on Thursday afternoon, Eco Club co-ordinator Mrs Barr explained: “It’s absolutely brilliant to see the garden come together; the site where it’s now standing was just a derelict patch of ground until a few months ago.
Work began on the garden just after Christmas, with Larne-based firm MH Groundworks lending a hand to clear the site and construct the underlying features.
Planting was carried out by Gary Bissett from Inver Garden Centre, with pupils keenly involved at every stage of the project.
The initiative is an extension of the school’s eco-status, said school principal Peter Garrett.
“We have a Green Flag and various bronze, silver and gold eco awards,” Mr Garrett said.
“It gives me great pleasure after a considerable amount of work to be at this stage where we are opening our educational garden.
“I want to pay tribute to Mrs Barr, whose idea this was; whenever she first suggested to me that this piece of derelict ground could be a learning garden I must admit it raised my eyebrows, but she has made it happen.
“Our Eco Committee have been instrumental right from the beginning in making the garden what it is today.
“I think it’s particularly fitting that we have this space that is the Moyle pupils’ garden, inspired by teachers but also inspired and led by our fabulous pupils.”
VIDEO: See our coverage of the Moyle PS garden opening at www.larnetimes.co.uk