A WEE COUNTY high school has been hailed for its litter picking programme – one of many initiatives leading to an Eco-Schools award.

Alloa Academy received its second Green Flag from Keep Scotland Beautiful for its multi-faceted approach to promoting environmental awareness and outdoor learning.

With the pupil-led Eco Committee at the helm, the academy spent the last two years building up to the award, part of the largest global sustainable schools programme.

The litter picks are run by students of the interdisciplinary learning classes and saw pupils clean up Candleriggs Car Park outside the Old Brewery, for instance.

For the last eight years or so, Alloa Academy has worked in the wider area with Tillicoultry Allotment Association to grow fresh produce and more recently with Alloa Family Centre to build a sustainable farm-to-fork programme.

Alan Moore, ASN teacher at the academy, told the Advertiser: “I was very proud of the pupils and the work they’ve put in towards getting it.”

He explained there is an emphasis on making sure things happen regularly throughout the school.

And added: “So we’ve got the Science Faculty developing their own garden and that’s an ongoing, ever-growing project.

“We’ve also got an interdisciplinary learning programme that our S2 classes do – they do a 12-week Eco-Schools block of work which will involve litter picking, working down the Black Devon Wetlands and helping out there.

“They are the ones that do the work clearing out the rhododendron at Pond Wood as well.”

The Eco Committee of Els Morrison, Bethany Wardrop and Mariam Ahktar are supported by art teacher Gillian Alexander.

While it is the school’s second Green Flag, they had to start from the beginning again, formed the committee before developing a business-like action plan with ongoing reviews.

Alan said: “People help out in all kinds of ways, the ones mentioned in the classes, the ones on the committee – their latest one was a wear it green day, a non-uniform fundraiser and they are just in the process of handing over all that money to Greenpeace, their chosen charity.”

Looking ahead, upcycling and the re-use of plastics is set to be one of the key ideas in the committee’s focus.

Gillian, who joined the Eco Committee, started to repurpose what others might throw away into so-called ecobricks.

These are plastic bottles stuffed with non-biodegradable waste to create a solid building block and there is a growing movement around the world behind the idea.

The committee will decide how to use the bricks, suggestions include an art installation or an extra outbuilding for the science faculty garden.

Eco-Schools is a programme developed by the Foundation for environmental Education (FEE) and is delivered in the country by Keep Scotland Beautiful.