YOUNG people in Helensburgh and Lomond are being urged to take part in a leading environmental charity’s annual Pocket Garden challenge – and to follow in the footsteps of a pupil from Hermitage Academy.

Keep Scotland Beautiful (KSB) has launched a nationwide search for pupils from across Scotland to participate in the fifth annual Pocket Garden Competition - which challenges children to design a garden which could feature as part of a major display at Gardening Scotland this summer.

Academy pupil Isabelle Gibrat won the ‘water’ themed section of the 2019 competition with her ‘drought tolerant’ creation.

Isabelle, then in S1, designed her own compost bin and created a garden which included walls planted with chives for bees, nettles for soup, and plants which represented the native landscape of Argyll and Bute.

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Schools from across Scotland are being encouraged to take part by developing designs for a garden which reflects one of the competition’s 2020 themes, which include: Wildlife Gardening, One Planet Picnic, Keep Scotland Beautiful’s 20th birthday, or the Year of Coasts and Waters 2020.

Eve Keepax, food and environment officer at Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “Our annual Pocket Garden competition is a practical and fun way for pupils to learn about food, the environment and biodiversity, as well as developing their creative design skills.

“Now in its fifth year, the competition has inspired schools from 30 of Scotland’s 32 local authority areas to take part.

“We have seen schools produce fantastic designs full of clever surprises with innovative ideas. I hope that many more young people will participate this year.”

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Anthony McCluskey, chair of the Garden for Life Forum, which runs the competition in partnership with KSB, added: “We are looking forward to seeing how school children meet the design challenge again this year, especially as our coasts and inland waters are such inspirational places.

“It’s more important than ever that we help wildlife in our gardens and grow our own food sustainably, and these designs can help in a small way to address the problems our planet is facing.”

The competition asks pupils to create exciting and unusual designs that use plants that attract wildlife, edible plants, and that reuse something which would otherwise have been thrown away.

Schools are invited to submit entries by the deadline of March 11.

Find out more about the competition at

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