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39 Engineer Regiment help students and staff revamp Forres Academy gardens


By Garry McCartney

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The volunteers from Kinloss Barracks repaired crumbling brick planters at the front of the school.
The volunteers from Kinloss Barracks repaired crumbling brick planters at the front of the school.

GREEN-fingered grafters from Kinloss Barracks have helped re-vamp garden areas at a local school.

Forres Academy support for Learning teacher Angela Mitchell confirmed personnel from 39 Engineer Regiment completed repair, removal and preparation work on behalf of students and staff.

She said: "They re-built brick planters at the front and removed more than six tonnes of material from the quadrangle garden at the centre of the school. They would still be working if the school had remained open! The army worked very hard and made a huge difference."

Last year, Forres Academy's central garden was overgrown and neglected before a team completing community service helped clear it.

The centre of the school was completely overgrown before it was worked on.
The centre of the school was completely overgrown before it was worked on.

Volunteers from Forres Men’s Shed then worked with pupils to build benches and volunteer Alain Barrere repaired the raised beds.

Mrs Mitchell and science teacher Mrs Jacqueline Barrere worked hard to complete the weeding and with students to grow a variety of vegetables and flowers including runner beans, sunflowers, herbs, lavender, winter peas, broccoli, carrots, peas, beans and cabbages which they used in cooking lessons.

Students spreading compost.
Students spreading compost.
Weeding the vegetable beds.
Weeding the vegetable beds.
Benches, a greenhouse and cleared beds are visible again.
Benches, a greenhouse and cleared beds are visible again.
A wide variety of vegetables are growing in the beds.
A wide variety of vegetables are growing in the beds.

They now hope to repair the greenhouse and ramp and build a shed, as well as create a sports surface.

"We are hoping to build a small pitch and putt area," said Mrs Mitchell. "It is only about 10x4m but fully accessible and will encourage more people to use the area.

"The army helped us to prepare the foundations and Springfield Properties have kindly donated sub base and sand for us to use when the excavations are complete.

"We are now on the lookout for a friendly landscape gardener who might be able to help with laying the Astroturf when the time comes!"


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