Gala millennium garden given timely makeover

The Millennium Garden, at the heart of Galashiels Academy, was created in 2000 to commemorate the lives of pupils and staff who have died whilst at the school.

Over the years, however, attention to its upkeep has been fitful as staff and pupils faced up to increasing work-loads. As a result, this year a number of people in the school felt the time had come to give it some additional TLC.

A new group was created by the Support for Learning Department, to do just this: Shaun McLeod, Glenn McPherson, Darren Thomson, Corey Sinclair, Joanne Nicol and Daniel Dale, supported by Mrs Blaikie and Ms Robertson, put on their gardening wellies and set to work.

Their efforts will not only enhance the attractiveness of this area of the school but will help pupils achieve their Access 2/3 Managing Environmental Resources qualification-gardening.

We have called ourselves Galashiels Garden Group. The pupils had to identify an area to improve and decided that the Millenium Garden needed spruced up and that we would try to create an area where we could grow fruit and vegetables as well. These will be used to cook healthy meals and snacks.

The group applied for money from Youth Chex and were awarded nearly £500 which paid for a green house and some new garden tools.

So far the group has created the new vegetable plot, cleared tons of rubbish and overgrown bushes, and revamped one of the memorial beds. Helen Jeffery of Inspirations at Early Vale, a former pupil has been working with the group and will be drawing up planting plans for another bed.

Helen has also offered advice on how to revamp the pond which has become congested – this is a very big project and the group are planning to seek help from the Beechgrove Garden.