Challenges highlight eco issues


AN ECO war raged in the grounds of Lathallan School recently as pupils from surroundings schools gathered to meet a series of challenges.

St Cyrus Primary School, along with Johnshaven, Gourdon, Inverbervie and Kinneff went head to head with Lathallan’s junior pupils in more than six events based around water, the theme for both the junior and senior challenges under the watchful eye of judge Alison O’Hara from Montrose Basin Visitor Centre.

The tasks on both days included designing water wheels as well as sampling and cleaning a polluted water habitat in the laboratory. The day ended with a duck race, with boats made from natural materials. Kinneff School emerged as overall winners with 48 points with Lathallan running a close second with 45 points in total.

Last Wednesday the school’s senior eco-warriors challenged Mearns Academy pupils to a number of similar activities which were judged by Andy Vinton from the world-renowned Macaulay Institute. The programme included identification of species found in a burn, followed by a comparison of clean water species and dirty water species in the lab, and measuring abiotic factors such as oxygen concentration, nitrates and phosphates.

The afternoon’s tasks involved building a model water wheel and a guttering race which saw the teams attempt to get the wheel to turn.

After a hard fought competition, Mearns Academy were victorious in the final event to win overall by four points.

The school organised the community event to help raise awareness of environmental issues, as well as profile its own Eco Club activities. It also had the positive spin-off of allowing the pupils to share their school with the wider community.

All participating teams were awarded with medals and certificates, as well as ‘goodie bags’ donated by Aquaid, in Stonehaven.