School pupils visit community with sustainability at its core

13th March 2018

A group of children from Hazlehead Primary School showcased ingenuity beyond their years when they won an award for championing sustainability with an exceptional 17-piece sculpture trail.

The sculpture trail, at nearby Hazlehead Park, aimed to raise awareness of and visualise the United Nations’ Global Goals for Sustainable Development. These objectives include elimination of hunger, poverty, inequality and creation of inclusive and sustainable communities, around the world by 2030.

The pupils showed incredible creativity and initiative with their sculptures and were awarded the ‘Learning for Sustainability’ award at the Aberdeen City Council’s Children and Young People’s Awards.

With its win, the school was recently invited to tour Countesswells to see how a new community with sustainability at its core is being developed on its doorstep.

Careful consideration has gone into the masterplanning of Countesswells to design a community that complements and enhances the existing natural environment and is sustainable in every sense – from the focus on biodiversity, to the use of reclaimed materials and new technology designed to reduce the environmental footprint.

Kicking off the visit with a presentation on the vision for Countesswells by Project Director, Allan McGregor, the pupils were then allowed to explore the community and experience it for themselves.

The group learned that the community is nestled between Hazlehead and Countesswells Woods and connected by a “green corridor” planted with more than 600 native trees. The focus on biodiversity is part of the vision for Countesswells as one of the most green, attractive and sought-after destinations in the country.

As the kids explored they participated in a good old-fashioned game of i-spy, challenging them to spot sustainability features which have been built into the landscape. At the “beach”, stones unearthed during construction have been reused to divert and channel a natural waterway through the area. These rocks were also repurposed to provide natural stairways and create a tranquil, natural feel to the surrounding landscape.

Before heading back to school, the pupils finished up by testing out the recently opened playpark. 

The deserved award winners swung on rustic swings, hopped the stepping logs, slid down slides and scaled rope climbing frames, before receiving their gift bags to take home.

The new playpark is the latest addition to the community facilities at Countesswells and complements the community orchard, parklands and green spaces in the settlement, with its use of sustainable and natural materials.

Christine Beard, deputy head teacher at Hazlehead Primary, said “Our school values a strong sense of community and community involvement and we’re very appreciative to Countesswells for organising the fun-filled, educational tour.  Pupils from across all classes and ages were involved in creating the sculpture trail and, following their award win, it’s been great for them to see the creation of a new community that has sustainability at its core.”

The themes of inclusivity, community and sustainability will be continually demonstrated as the community continues to flourish over the course of its 15-year development. Countesswells will prove to be a location that connects all aspects of modern living and offers an inspirational way of life.