Published 01 March 2022

Children and young people in Bellsmyre are calling on residents and visitors to ‘Bin it for Bellsmyre’ during a litter pick in their community.

Young people from Our Lady and Saint Patrick’s High School (OLSP) were joined by pupils from Aitkenbar and St Peter’s Primary schools and children from Bellsmyre Early Learning and Childcare Centre who gathered to collect litter from areas around the schools.

The litter pick, organised by children and young people and in partnership with Keep Scotland Beautiful, want to raise awareness of litter and pollution.  Young people want to make Bellsmyre a cleaner place to live and to give the community a sense of pride, as well as reminding people that littering is unacceptable.

The initiative follows COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow last year, where the need to act now to save our planet was  highlighted to pupils and young people.

Pupils from OLSP have been focusing on environmental and sustainability issues with all S1 engaged in activity which coincided with COP26 conference. Pupils in ICT produced business plans for local organisations to help them become more sustainable and in science young people explored the concept of renewable energies and pollution. Pupils studying social subjects looked at increasing populations and the impact this has on the world’s natural resources and in English pupils studied the poem Seagulls.

The school has also relaunched its Eco Committee consisting of S5&6 pupils who will focus on improving their local area.

Inspired by COP26, children at Bellsmyre ELCC are working towards their Green Flag Award.  The centre has set up an ECO Committee along with children from Andrew B Cameron ELCC who will take part in weekly litter picks and  supported by parents who have a shared vision of keeping Bellsmyre beautiful. The centre also set up a pledge tree, asking families what one thing they would change as a family to support the environment. To foster a love of nature the centre encourages children to access outdoors daily, and show an active part in caring for nature by making bird feeders, planting bulbs and sowing wild flowers to help attract wildlife.

Children and young people in Bellsmyre are calling on residents and visitors to ‘Bin it for Bellsmyre’

The centre along with St Peters and Aitkenbar Primary will be using the story “The Messy Magpie” which introduces recycling to the children and highlights the danger caused by littering to our environment. The “Messy Magpie” story will also be used as a transition tool between ELC and Primary.

Children and young people in Bellsmyre are calling on residents and visitors to ‘Bin it for Bellsmyre’

Councillor Karen Conaghan, Convener of Educational Services, said: “I am delighted so many of our young people are passionate about the environment and happy to go out and pick up litter that should have been put in the bin.  If we can educate from a young age how bad pollution is for our world we can hopefully do our bit to help the environment.”

Councillor Ian Dickson, Vice Convener of Educational Services, said: “I'd like to thank all the children and young people from Bellsmyre Early Learning and childcare Centre for all their efforts. I’m sure their efforts will encourage residents to bin their rubbish and not throw away their litter.  We know many residents respect our environment and I would encourage the minority of residents who choose not to bin their litter to ensure they take it home instead.”