Fraserburgh children and parents taught a valuable lesson in community spirit this week, mucking in to tackle three feet-high weeds and grass in their own school playground.
South Park Primary School’s paths and two playgrounds were covered in five months’ worth of weeds and grass up following its closure at the start of lockdown.
And after Aberdeenshire Council admitted it would struggle to cover the backlog of unkept school grounds in time for them reopening on Tuesday, a plea was made for volunteers to help.
Headteacher Carol Irvine said: “The council had said they wouldn’t get to us for a couple of weeks yet which wouldn’t have been ideal.
“We have two playgrounds and the big one is used every break and lunch time. We would’ve really struggled for space without it.
“I asked the parents and some families from farming backgrounds if they could help with a tractor, and the response was lots of parents coming back offering to do that and the small playground too armed with mowers, strimmers and rakes.”
Around 24 adults and kids got stuck in tidying up the 403-pupil Philorth Avenue school on Wednesday, in what became a true community effort with local cafe Maitlands donating lunch and garden contractor John Littlejohn offering to finish up some specialist tasks this weekend.
“We worked the whole day and it was a massive effort,” Mrs Irvine added. “The grass was three feet high and blown down so needed raked up, strimmed then a further two cuts with the mower. It’s now looking good and ready to open.”
Local councillor Brian Topping also lent a hand and said further grass-cutting is under way at Fraserburgh Academy and Westfield Primary School thanks to local tractor owners.
“Members of the Banff and Buchan Tractor and Engine Club came forward immediately after my plea appeared in the Press and Journal,” he said. “Despite them all having normal jobs they’re now getting to work cutting grass at schools across Fraserburgh. I’m thankful to them doing what they can to help.
“Carol took the initiative to get her school tidied up and the parents and children there have done a great job. The transformation is spectacular.”