This year we have been working with the fantastic pupils at Dedridge Primary School and the charity, RePollinate to learn all about biodiversity and ecology in a ‘ReConnect’ project, which included planting areas of pollinator-friendly flowers and six fruit trees, to help improve education on the importance of pollinators and how to protect them.
The project, which is the first of its kind, was delivered by ecologist Nick Trull from RePollinate, who worked closely with teacher Mrs Mohammed and a small group of ASL (Additional Support for Learning) pupils, using an outdoor learning approach with play-based activities, and lots of props including pollinator costumes. The programme incorporated new multi-sensory practical elements, from when it was piloted in 2022 with a small number of schools, to meet the learning preferences of the class.
During three visits to the schools since June, the pupils were given an insight into the importance of pollinating insects and understanding the anatomy of plants, and created their own bee beds and gardens, comprising carefully selected nectar-rich perennial plants.
The aim of the ecological education programme was to engage the pupils in practical conservation and promoting positive relations with nature and develop their understanding of how food is produced.
The pupils learned about the importance of biodiversity and the development of flowers, which they all planted in the school grounds, along with cherry, plum and apple fruit trees.
RePollinate was created in 2018 by founders of The Scottish Bee Company, Suzie and Iain Millar to help to reverse the decline of pollinators in the UK by working with policymakers from local to national level and delivering educational, community-led projects to create valuable pollinator habitats.
The charity also worked closely with the landscaping team at The Centre, Livingston to create two bee gardens in the surrounding areas of the shopping centre.