First launched in 2022 as part of our ‘People Shaped Places’ campaign, the Eco-gardens initiative provides £1,000 of funding to local primary schools with the aim of supporting the development of vibrant green spaces and sustainability within the communities in which we build. The funding is used to purchase outdoor gardening equipment, materials and plants to enhance the garden areas within the school grounds and create vibrant spaces for outdoor learning and natural play.
The schools involved utilise the funds to purchase items such as wood for building planters, child friendly gardening tools and equipment, soil, seeds and plants. This offers pupils the opportunity to take ownership of the school green spaces and learn how fruit and vegetables grow and how this is all linked to a healthy lifestyle. Stewart Milne Homes hopes to inspire the next generation of gardeners to experience the joy of growing their own plants and vegetables.
As well as the funding, school children also receive hi-vis vests to help keep them safe whilst outdoors, especially in the darker winter months.
Dan Hall, Depute Head Teacher at Charleston School, said: “Outdoor learning is integral to our curriculum as it supports the development of healthy and active lifestyles in our pupils and is proven to help grow their confidence, social skills and communication.
“We want to thank Stewart Milne Homes for their generous donation which has gone a long way to not only improve the green areas around the school, but also to inspire a new love of the outdoors in many of our pupils.
“Taking ownership of the green areas around the schools, planting flowers and watching them grow has been a fantastic opportunity for the pupils to learn about science and nature, and they’ve really enjoyed seeing the results as the first bulbs start to shoot.
“The hi-vis vests will be used year-round to keep the children safe as we continue to improve the outdoor areas, including our plan to develop an outdoor play area which the whole school can benefit from.”
So far Stewart Milne Homes have supported 6 schools across Scotland with more to come over 2023.