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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Primary schoolchildren plant marram grass at Trump International

Local youngsters from Balmedie Primary School will take part in planting marram grass, as part of the first phase of construction of Trump International’s championship course, at Menie Estate tomorrow (Thursday).
Working in partnership with Trump International’s project team, a number of site visits and workshops focused on the environment and north-east coastline will be developed with Balmedie School.
In support of Aberdeenshire Council’s new curriculum framework for young people aged 3 to 18, the activities will provide local pupils with environmental experiences that encourage learning about their natural surroundings.
Following the tradition of hand-sprigging marram grass - a process that has been used by local people for generations - Balmedie school children will gain practical experience of this time-proven technique as they learn about their environment and local heritage.
Allison Conner, deputy head teacher, Balmedie Primary School said: “The children are being taught to hand sprig the grass which is an age old tradition that crofters used to employ in days gone by.
"Pupils are being given the opportunity to better understand their heritage and at the same time engage in outdoor learning. We have a rich learning environment on our doorstep, and we will continue to use our local outdoor environment to develop and enhance the learning opportunities we provide our pupils."
Sarah Malone, executive vice president of Trump International commented: “Given that this development will one day provide employment and recreational opportunities for the next generation, this type of activity will help create a greater sense of ownership and interest amongst the young. We look forward to working with Balmedie School on a range of activities throughout the development of the project.”
Local resident and former chairman of Keep Grampian Beautiful, Paul Miller, who has a life-time of experience of caring for Aberdeenshire’s coastline and marram grass planting, will also share his knowledge and experience with the school children.
In response to the partnership with Balmedie School and Trump International, Mr Miller said “The preservation of the region’s sand dunes has been my passion for over 40 years and I’m delighted to see the younger generation gaining hands-on experience and learning about the natural environment.”