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30 Lewis school children earn their Discovery Award

30 children from Sgoil an Taobh Siar, Lionel, Shawbost and Breasclete primary schools have been awarded their John Muir Trust Discovery Award, after spending three days exploring North West Lewis, as part of a primary seven transition programme,  funded and delivered by Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn (Galson Estate Trust) and Urras Oighreachd Chàrlabhaigh (Carloway Estate Trust) in partnership with The John Muir Trust.


The primary seven pupils from the four primary schools spent three days, 19th – 21st March, exploring the outdoors, discovering new areas and activities, and learning how to protect and conserve our environment, led by a team of local experts.


The John Muir Trust Discovery Award is an environmental award scheme focused on encouraging people to connect with, enjoy and care for wild places. During the three days, the school pupils went canoeing on Loch Barvas, mountain biking and litter picking along the Barvas machair, learnt survival skills in a woodland session in Shader, visited Arnol Blackhouse, as well as a trip to the Arnol fank to learn some crofting skills, and lots of other activities.

 Here is what some of the children had to say about their experience:


“I learned new skills from the bush craft, and survival skills so I could survive in the wild.”


“There are lots of things that you can find outdoors and without looking after the environment there wont be anything left to discover.”


“I’ve met more people and made so many friends!”


“I feel more confident going to the Nicolson now.”


“Canoeing was my favourite, because we all bonded and became friends.”

Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn and Urras Oighreachd Chàrlabhaigh started the transition programme in 2020 to ensure that the P7 pupils from the four schools had a chance to meet one another before going to the Nicolson Institute, as well as learning about the area they come from and acquiring new skills.


Christine Amos, Operations Manager, Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn, commented: “This year’s programme was really successful, and we are really proud of all the children who took part, some of them trying something new for the very first time.

"We were grateful to have support from MG Alba during the three days, with Community Content Creator, Sine, there to capture lots of content."


Donald MacKinnon, Development Manager at Urras Oighreachd Chàrlabhaigh, added: “We’d like to thank all the partners and local experts who contributed to the programme including Spòrsnis, Scaladale Centre, Horshader Community Development, Bragar & Arnol Community Trust, Historic Environment Scotland, Galson Motors, Clan MacQuarrie Community Centre, Barvas and Brue Community Centre, CnaG, HM Coastguard Western Isles, Skye & Lochaber, and MG Alba.”


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