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Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn and Urras Oighreachd Chàrlabhaigh are celebrating the recent success of a jointly co-ordinated Primary 7 John Muir Trust Award transition programme.

From Tuesday 31 May – Thursday 2 June, Primary 7 pupils from Sgoil an Taobh Siar, Shawbost, Lionel and Breasclete schools were working hard to attain their John Muir Award by completing a number of different activities, discovering, exploring, conserving and sharing their local areas. 

Children from the four schools, all situated in north-west Lewis, were involved in a whole host of exciting activities including mountain biking with Scaladale Centre, a guided walk with local RSPB wardens, planting and growing with the Hebridean Community Garden, litter picking at Barvas shore, learning about the shipwreck of the Clan Macquarrie, and many more. 

Participants and staff were extremely fortunate with the weather over the course of the three days, with beaming sunshine for each of the days spent predominantly outdoors.

Children documented each of their activities in a log book at the end of the day, as well as created a poster of their activities.  These posters will later be presented by the children at their school prize giving in each of their respective schools where they will also receive their John Muir Trust Award certificates.

This is the second Primary 7 transition programme that Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn and Urras Oighreachd Chàrlabhaigh have jointly co-ordinated, with the previous completed in March of 2020 just prior to the first COVID-19 lockdown.  

The John Muir Award encourages awareness and responsibility for the natural environment through a structured yet adaptable scheme, in a spirit of fun, adventure and exploration.  Obtaining the Award via the transition programme not only builds on both the skillset and understanding of sense of place for local young people, but also enables them to make new friends before transitioning from primary school to the Nicolson Institute. 

Sally Reynolds, Development Manager for Urras Oighreachd Chàrlabhaigh, said: “Urras Oighreachd Chàrlabhaigh were delighted to be part of this project; it was great to see the young people working together on the different activities and making new friends. It is a great opportunity not just for the young people but for our organisations and staff to work together on something so worthwhile. We wish all the young people well as they start secondary school and congratulate them on their awards.”

Mairi Graham, Development Officer for Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn, said: “Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn thoroughly enjoyed being part of the John Muir Trust P7 Transition Programme again this year after being unable to run the project for the past 2 years. We would like to thank all the P7s from the schools and everyone who contributed to the project to help make it a success.  It is great to get young people out exploring the outdoors while also making new friends in the process.  We wish them all the best on their next chapter”.

Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn and Urras Oighreachd Chàrlabhaigh were grateful to all staff involved across the three days, and would also like to thank all other partners and helpers involved, including Comunn na Gàidhlig; the RSPB; Scaladale Centre; the Hebridean Community Garden; HM Coastguard - Western Isles, Skye and Lochaber; the staff of Sgoil an Taobh Siar along with Breasclete, Shawbost and Lionel schools; Murdo Nicholson, Carola Bell and Juliette Desportes.