TV legend praises greenfingered Firpark kids

Beechgrove Garden presenter Jim McColl visits Firpark Secondary
Beechgrove Garden presenter Jim McColl visits Firpark Secondary

Greenfingered pupils at Firpark Secondary in Motherwell have been praised by gardening legend Jim McColl.

The Beechgrove Garden presenter visited the school on Friday to learn about its popular gardening and horticulture initiatives.

Over the past four years the school has developed a range of vocational areas including growing food to be served at its in-house All Stars Bistro, which is open to the public every Friday.

Head teacher John Morley said: “We’ve been working in partnership with Oatridge College to deliver horticulture to our pupils as a national qualification. We have built two polytunnels and numerous raised beds, where we grow a wide range of seasonal fruit and vegetables.

“Much of our own fresh produce is then served in dishes at our own bistro, the food is prepared by our pupils and overseen by a professional chef from New College Lanarkshire.

“It was great to welcome Jim and the team from the Beechgrove Garden, they’ve shown a real interest in the work we’ve been doing here.

“Our focus is on developing employability skills and employment opportunities for our pupils once they leave Firpark.”

Jim has been presenting the Beechgrove Garden for over 40 years and is delighted to see a new generation becoming interested in gardening.

He said: “I’ve been concerned about where the gardeners of the future are going to come from, and this project is exactly the sort of thing that should be taking place in far more schools.

“You could see how much the pupils were enjoying learning about something new and gaining confidence from learning about something they are good at.

“It’s a wonderful initiative which takes food from seed to plate, and I’d like to congratulate everyone involved.”