PUPILS from Limekilns Primary School have officially opened their new community garden.

The children gathered to celebrate the opening of the Limekilns School Community Garden, which is a project that has been in the works for over a year now, on Friday, April 21.

Started as a partnership between the school and the Charlestown, Limekilns and Pattiesmuir (CLP) Nature Conservation Group, the garden will be used by the children so they can learn all about how to grow vegetables, wildflowers and create homes for wildlife in their orchard.

Joanna McFarlane, Chair of the CLP Nature Conservation Group said: "This garden has been an idea for this community for decades and ultimately has led to this incredible day. The key to the ongoing success of this partnership between the volunteers and the school and its legacy, is the commitment of the school to the project.

"The school uses the garden to deliver for their curriculum, it is a whole school approach with a dedicated teacher leading on the project with the full backing of her headteacher. This is the key to all successful Learning for Sustainability and outdoor learning across schools in Scotland and to deliver the education needed for the nature and climate emergency. Having intergenerational learning between the community volunteers and children is also a dream come true!"

Each class have their own raised bed for planting and the children are planning hope to use the produce they grow in their school canteen, to take it home, and will share the food and the garden with the wider community and other projects as the project develops.

Volunteers from the Limekilns, Charlestown, Pattiesmuir and neighbouring Crombie community have donated hundreds of hours of their time in planning, fundraising, logistics, building raised beds, potting tables and planting. Additionally, a team of nature group volunteers of all ages are supporting the teachers and children in each session in the garden every week, sharing their knowledge on planting and helping to grow the school’s confidence.

Donations from across the community have also contributed to the kid’s community garden, including water butts, trees, tools, seeds and a kind neighbour is even allowing the project to use their water. The project has had generous support from local funding from Fife Council Community Grants, Greener Kirkcaldy, Carnegie Trust, Rotary of West Fife and CLP Community Council as well as local businesses such as Scottish Woods and Turf It who have also donated materials to the project.

At the opening, the children honoured the help of their community with a round of applause.

Claire McCallum, Headteacher of Limekilns Primary School and Nursery commented: "A year ago, our children indicated that they would like more opportunities to learn about climate change, learn outdoors and connect with nature. In that time, our School and Community Garden has grown from an inspiring idea to a wonderful place to develop learning for sustainability themes.

"This could not have been possible without the support and partnership of amazing local organizations, businesses, volunteers and parents. Leadership across our school and wider community has created an exciting place for our children to learn and grow!”

Those who want to take part in the Limekilns School Community Garden can find out more by contacting Joanna on jowildplanetexplorers@gmail.com or via Facebook @clpnaturegroup.