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Young People on Creative Pathways launch eco-friendly greenhouse at Summerlee Musuem

Young People on our North Lanarkshire Creative Pathway programme used 1,000 plastic bottles to create a portable greenhouse which will be used by the gardening team at Summerlee Museum in Coatbridge.

As well as recycling and even litter-picking the bottles, the group also used reclaimed wood donated by local businesses and “found” polythene tarpaulins to create the greenhouse – which includes an access ramp – on top of an old trailer.

They also helped to create a wheelchair-accessible path for local gardeners visiting the museum – as well as learning about growing vegetables, mass production and food miles, setting up an environmental Instagram page and creating their own Greg the Grape mascot.

The young people highlighted their eco-friendly achievements at their showcase, where they also sold handmade Christmas decorations and lavender bags, made as part of their work towards the SQA employability award.

The group of eight young people, who are all aged 16 and 17 and are not in employment, education or training, worked with artists and Impact Arts tutors Elina Bry and Emmett McSheffrey on the environmental design workshops.

Emmett said “The gardeners at Summerlee told the group how they’d been thinking about this idea of a greenhouse made from plastic bottles which they’d seen, and the young people took that on board and worked on the project from there.

“There are nearly 1000 bottles involved in making the greenhouse, which is full-sized and could fit around 10 people inside – each has been washed, had the bottom cut off and then been threaded onto canes to form part of the walls.

“It has a timber frame which all the bottles are attached to; they’re mostly two-litre and some 500ml bottles which the group brought in, which were collected at Summerlee and even some which were picked up having been found as litter.

“Summerlee’s gardeners think it’s great and will be growing soft fruit and vegetables in it; they’re really impressed with the work done, and the fact that it’s on the trailer means it can be moved around the grounds to get the sun as it changes.”

The programme was funded by Our Bright Future, aiming to encourage the young participants to “think about their surroundings, increase awareness of environmental issues, build confidence and learn new skills”.

The young people also achieved an SQA award through the three-month course, and received certificates in recognition of their achievements at the celebration event.

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