Mill o' Forest pupils team up with Men's Shed for environmental project

Mill o ’Forest Primary School in Stonehaven has been active in encouraging theirpupils to get involved in Environmental Projects.

By Morag Kuc
Thursday, 10th February 2022, 8:57 am
This project began in September after the polytunnel was erected by the supplier at the end of the school holidays.

They decided that having a polytunnel would help to promote this and managed to raise the funds for the procurement and installation of an 8x4m domed polytunnel to be sited in the grassy area adjacent to the school.

School staff approached Stonehaven Men’s Shed to ask if they could help in fitting out the polytunnel to enable its use as an area for the pupils to experience the wonders of growing plants and their contribution towards the goal of improving the environment.

Duncan Cursiter a trustee of the Men’s Shed immediately took up the challenge and with the aid of a small team set about the task which proved to be much more challenging than first thought! However, their experience in developing the horticultural facility in a similar polytunnel for Mackie Academy proved invaluable.

This project began in September after the polytunnel was erected by the supplier at the end of the school holidays. A detailed scale plan of the proposed layout was prepared and approved by the school with emphasis on wheelchair friendly access, all round inside.

The school provided 70 recycled slabs, cement, two tonnes of sand and a tonne of pebbles. The staging was built from the recycled wood from a pallet the structure had been delivered on.

Due to the distance of the polytunnel from a water source a decision was made early on to install a rainwater harvesting system. The challenge was to provide remote pumping of the water from the below ground collection tanks up to the inside storage barrels.

The Rotary Club of Stonehaven kindly provided funding for a solar-powered pump and also a backup hose connection. Storage barrels were donated by Tube Tec at Spurryhilllock Industrial Estate.

Stonehaven. Men’s Shed Trustee Duncan Cursiter said: “The success of the project was largely due to the assistance from shedders Davie Ross and Mike McInally, in particular, but also to the other Shedders who came on an ad hoc basis and helped enthusiastically with the heavy work on slabs and those who came along with a welcome cup of coffee.

"Overall, more than 200-man hours have gone into the project. At the end of the day, we have all had great satisfaction in doing something useful for the community whilst assisting children to contribute towards a better environment.”

Trish Martin, Head Teacher, added: “We are really pleased with our new polytunnel, and we are so grateful to the Men’s Shed for putting so much hard work into it.

"The project team has gone above and beyond in putting this together and we cannot wait to get growing! A big thank you to everyone involved from all at Mill O Forest School.”

Debbie Thomson, Stonehaven Rotary, President, said: “Stonehaven Rotary was pleased it could support this project as it fits in beautifully with our objectives on helping save the planet by encouraging local schools, via a financial incentive, to initiate projects which involve the environment and nature.”