Primary 7 pupils in Ness and Westside had their hard work acknowledged in the form of the John Muir Discovery Awards.

Held on Wednesday 11 March in Borve, the awards saw the children recognised for a four day event encouraging them to discover, explore, conserve and share their local area.

At the end of the four days, young people involved shared their work and findings with their friends, parents and the local community at the awards ceremony and received their personalised certificates from the John Muir Trust.

The activities young people participated in, co-ordinated by both Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn (UOG) and Urras Oighreachd Chàrlabhaigh (UOC), included mountain biking with Scaladale Activity Centre, building a fishing platform with local joiner Alex Gunn at Loch an Dùin in Shader, litter picking and beach clean-ups on the Barvas machair, and building benches for the community in Carloway.

Opening the event, Shona Macmillan, Gaelic Development Officer for Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn, congratulated all involved on their efforts, and stated that it was wonderful to “see the fruits of their labour” at the four locations. This was re-iterated by Lisa Maclean, Chief Executive for UOG, who added: “New friendships have been forged and new places discovered. A legacy has been left in all four different areas.”

Sally Reynolds, Developement Officer at Urras Oighreachd Chàrlabhaigh, commented: “Knowing the value John Muir Awards can be, we were delighted to become involved in this new transition project. I feel this project offer[ed] more because it brings together all the P7s from Lionel, Sgoil an Taobh Siar, Shawbost and Breasclete Schools at a crucial time before they move to the Nicolson. It has been great to see the young people make new friends and see their confidence visibly growing each week.”

The certificated were issued at the awards ceremony in front of an audience of over 100 people. Richard Williams (John Muir Trust), Carola Bell (Board Member for UOG), Kenny MacLennan (Chair of UOC) and David Maclennan (Unit Manager for Argyll and Outer Hebrides Scottish Natural Heritage offices) all presented the young people with their John Muir Award certificates.

In closing the evening’s awards presentation, David Maclennan stated that: “This initiative, coming from the Trusts, was a huge and fantastic opportunity for Scottish Natural Heritage to help young people. Thank you and well done to everyone.”