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Mearns Academy pupils help stop the plastic tide at Glensaugh

Volunteers at Glensaugh (c) James Hutton Institute
“Plastic is made of oil and if we don’t stop it, it’ll get into the ground and burns.”

More and more volunteers are waking up to the pervasive problem of plastic pollution in landscapes both home and abroad, and the James Hutton Institute’s Glensaugh Research Farm is no exception. A group of Mearns Academy pupils visited Glensaugh to help stop the ‘plastic tide’ by collecting tree guards and nets used to protect young trees against grazing animals, including sheep and deer.

Donald Barrie, Glensaugh farm manager, said: “The world has woken up to the problem of plastic pollution in all industries, including agriculture and forestry.

“Plastic tree guards are used as an alternative to fences to protect young trees, but these plastics degrade over time, breaking down into smaller pieces which are washed into burns and then out to sea.

“I am grateful to this group of Mearns Academy students for volunteering to help us remedy the problem.”

S1 pupil Bradley Milne, part of the group of volunteers, commented: “Plastic is made of oil and if we don’t stop it, it’ll get into the ground and burns.”

Katherine Nepute, PT of Achievement at Mearns Academy, explained that the effort at Glensaugh was part of a wider drive across outdoor locations in the area, in the context of the academy’s participation in the Scottish Government’s Saltire Award, which celebrates young volunteers in Scotland.

“We hope that the kids have the opportunity to enjoy the sunshine, the outdoors, and become more aware of all the great places and people that live in their local area,” Ms Nepute said.

Mearns Academy is a six-year, co-educational, comprehensive school situated in Laurencekirk with associated primary schools in seven surrounding villages. The school roll has risen over recent years and now stands at 649.

Glensaugh extends to 1,000 hectares and lies in the Grampian foothills to the east of the B974 Fettercairn to Banchory road about 7 km north of Laurencekirk. Its primary land use activity is commercial livestock farming which is supported by an extensive grazing resource. Glensaugh is one of 11 UK sites in the Environmental Change Network (ECN).

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Printed from /news/mearns-academy-pupils-help-stop-plastic-tide-glensaugh on 07/12/23 09:19:12 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.