Greenbrae Primary School, in Bridge of Don, Aberdeenshire, are the winners of a Scotland-wide search to find the best green community idea. Students have claimed a top prize of £2,000 to help bring their idea to life.
The school's honey bee project beat tough competition from all over the country to take its place as a winning entry for the Grand Green Idea 2014. The competition, which was organised by WWF Scotland, supported with funds from players of People's Postcode Lottery, encouraged community groups to put forward their best environmental initiatives which would benefit their surrounding community.
The project will focus on educating school children and the local community on the importance of protecting the UK's bee population. The school has bought a beehive and bees sited at a farm in Middleton of Potterton. In addition, the whole school is taking part in several projects, including two dedicated "bee weeks", where classes will focus on the importance of bees to the UK's biodiversity and the decline of the bee population. The school will also produce a bee-themed calendar, which will be sold at Christmas, and transform their canteen into a bee-inspired work of art.
The school plans to use the top prize of £2,000 to enable them to purchase the equipment needed to harvest the honey and to continue their project long-term.
Green community groups and schools from across Scotland entered their ideas under the competition's two categories, Climate & Energy and Wildlife & Nature, and the Bridge of Don school were announced winners of Wildlife & Nature.
Greenbrae Primary Head Teacher Anna Royle said, "Our project gives the school the chance to enhance learning and teaching about food as well as to make connections to the world of work. This is an exciting project for our pupils and has captivated the interest of the whole school.
"On behalf of the school, I would like to say a huge thank you to WWF Scotland and People's Postcode Lottery for helping make our project possible."
On announcing the winner, Lang Banks, Director of WWF Scotland, said, "Greenbrae Primary's vision for a whole-school honeybee project is a really exciting project that will highlight the vital role bees play in the environment. It was also loved by the judges. We hope many others will be inspired by this shining example of positive action."
Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People's Postcode Lottery, added, "Greenbrae Primary School's project was a clear winner for all the judges. The key element of a Grand Green Idea is that young people get involved in green and sustainable projects, and the primary school's honey bee project has been integrated across all levels in the school. Congratulations to everyone at Greenbrae Primary School."
The winner of the Climate & Energy category was Dalmally Eco Group, in Argyll, who won £1,000 for their climate-friendly community poly-tunnel, in which the groups will grow vegetables for the local community.
The Grand Green Idea competition, which is in its third year, was launched by former BBC Scotland meteorologist, known affectionately by fans as Heather 'The Weather' Reid.