Past Eco Events



Sat 18th to Sun 26th Sept – The Great Big Green Week

Plastic Free Helensburgh ran an amazing festival with a fantastic range of events for The Climate Coalition's The Great Big Green Week from 18th-26th Sept 2021.

From sustainable parenting to repair workshops, from electric transport to plastic free periods, there was something for everyone.


Thu 23rd Sept – Autumn Community Litter Pick

We held a very successful litter pick of the woods behind and beside the school after school on Thursday 23rd September. 8 pupils and 5 members of staff collected and sorted 13 bags/ 32.92 kg of litter and photographed the evidence. We logged our actions as part of Surfers Against Sewage’s Million Mile Clean. Well done to everyone involved, your actions have made a big difference: you helped clean our community and took part in some citizen science at the same time!

14/9/21 - Climate Action Workshop run by Keep Scotland Beautiful

Some of our Eco-Committee attended the virtual workshop on Climate Action on Tue 14th Sept. There were 3 topics: Fast Fashion, Energy and Food. For each we learned about the topic, the effects of the topic on the earth and what action we can take to lessen these effects. At the end of the workshop, our pupils were brimming with ideas they would like to put into action during the course of the year and they were told to bring these to the next committee meeting.




Wed 16th Jun - World Refill Day

World Refill Day is a global public awareness campaign to champion reuse over single-use and prevent plastic pollution. To celebrate it, we ran an inter-house competition, encouraging pupils to bring reusable water bottles and food containers to school instead of single-use items. Results to be announced soon!


Tue 8th Jun - Youth Ocean & Climate Summit organised by Surfers Against Sewage

The Summit was an action packed, one-day virtual event, that covered a range of exciting and engaging activities hosted by some of the nation’s leading, influential youth activists. The aim of the Summit was to produce a clear and impactful Youth Ocean & Climate Manifesto, outlining key, innovative solutions that will combat the ocean and climate crisis. The headlines of the manifesto were presented by youth activists to high profile leaders and decisions makers live and direct at the end of the day. With top political and environmental leaders congregating in the UK this year, for two of the most substantial talks on the climate crisis, the G7 Summit and COP26, the Youth Ocean and Climate Summit provided a platform for 11-18 year olds to project their voice of power to the people in power. Hermitage Academy had 2 successful applicants, Sophie in S3 and Cameron in S5, and they both benefitted hugely from the experience, learning more about the climate crisis, its possible solutions and feeling empowered by contributing to the final manifesto that was presented to politicians, including the Secretary of State for the Environment, George Eustace. Well done, Sophie and Cameron!

Here is what Sophie had to say about the event:

On June 8th I attended the Youth, Ocean and Climate Summit virtual conference organized by Surfers Against Sewage (SAS). It was hosted via the platforms stream and zoom.

The first half consisted of introductions and a few presentations by some brilliant speakers such as Dominic Palmer and Mhairi McCann. For the second half we split into groups with a supervisor and an activist/speaker. Sadly, I missed the first workshop due to connection issues but thankfully was able to attend the last two. For the workshops we used an app called Jam Board and were able to have discussions and use the board to fill in problems and solutions. Some of the topics included: Environmental justice, human connection to the ocean, consumer habits, renewable energy and a clean transition, extraction of marine resources and restoration and rewilding. I really enjoyed the experience and being a part of what is to be said at the G7 and COP26 conferences. We all need to be aware that if we don’t make a change in politics and how we view our climate and planet in the next few years, we will not be able to reverse our damage. I encourage you all to further your reading into the Climate Crisis and start pushing for real change.

And here is what Cameron had to say:

"It was amazing. Throughout the day, we discussed important issues in regards to climate change and ocean protection. I learnt a lot about how to be a better activist and met several people with similar views to mine.  I would highly recommend it and will be attending Surfers Against Sewage's events in future."


Tue 8th Jun - World Ocean Day

World Ocean Day is observed on 8 June every year in an effort to celebrate the oceans, while raising awareness of the need to protect the bodies of water. Covering around 71 percent of the Earth's surface, the oceans are vital to life on Earth. Oceans help us breathe, regulate the earth's climate, are in an important food source, creates jobs and provide important transport and trade routes.

Sources: &


Sat 5th & Sun 6th Jun - Cardross Big Summer Clean

Cardross is holding a litter pick of the village, meeting at Lennox Star Newsagents, Main Road on Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th June from 10:00 to 12:00. Please bring:

  • sturdy shoes
  • weather-appropriate clothing (including sun screen if appropriate)
  • strong gloves
  • litter picking equipment if you have any, including a bin bag, and
  • hand sanitiser

Please cover up any cuts you may have and if you, or any of your household, are displaying symptoms of COVID-19, please stay at home and do NOT attend.

If you are interested in attending, please see or email Mrs McLeod. Note: this is NOT a school outing and parental supervision is required.


Thu 3rd Jun - Litter Pick of Woods Beside School

SAS have their Million Mile Clean this year, Keep Britain Tidy are having their Great British Spring Clean and Keep Scotland Beautiful are running their Summer Clean as part of Clean Up Scotland campaign. To support these campaigns, on Thursday 3rd June there will be a litter pick of the woods beside the school. Come along and do your bit for the local environment and earn house points at the same time!

  • Meet in Talla Mhor at 15:30 to collect your equipment (litter pickers, gloves, bags and hoops provided).
  • We will go out the front gate to pick the woods at the front and we will sort and record our findings before returning to Talla Mhor to return equipment.
  • Pupils will be dismissed at 17:00.
  • Please wear sensible clothing and footwear.
  • Please inform Mrs McLeod (in person Tue/ Thu or by email) by Tue 1st June at the latest.
  • Consent forms will be issued on Wed 2nd June and must be returned to the school office on Thu 3rd June.


Sat 29th May - Helensburgh Community Council Beach Clean

Helensburgh Community Council are holding a beach clean, meeting at Helensburgh Pier on Saturday 29th May from 10:00 to 12:00. Please bring:

  • sturdy shoes
  • weather-appropriate clothing (including sun screen if appropriate)
  • strong gloves
  • litter picking equipment if you have any, including a bin bag, and
  • hand sanitiser

Please cover up any cuts you may have and if you, or any of your household, are displaying symptoms of COVID-19, please stay at home and do NOT attend.

If you are interested in attending, please see or email Mrs McLeod. Note: this is NOT a school outing and parental supervision is required.


Sat 1st May - Beach Clean organised by Cardross Community Council

Cardross Community Council are holding a beach clean on Saturday 1st May from 10:00-12:00, meeting at the shore car park on Station Road in Cardross. Gloves and bin bags will be supplied but please wear sensible clothing and bring your own equipment if you can.  Please also let Mrs McLeod know if you would like to join in. Please note: this is NOT a school outing and parental supervision is required.



Tue 5/11/19 & Mon 11/11/19 - Hermitage Park Community Kitchen Garden - Mental Health Workshops & Final Event Planning

Pupils spent 3 periods each day working on the following:

  • Surveys - Millie, Archie, Mikey and William - researched then created surveys to discover whether or not our gardening work in the park has made any difference to the mental health of either: pupils in the school; or visitors to the park. The pupil survey will be carried out online by some pupils from S1 to S3 during class and the community survey will be conducted during our final event in the park on Monday 9th December. They spoke to Miss O’Donnell and Mr Cameron who kindly allowed us to use 5 minutes of their lessons to conduct the surveys with S1 and S2.
  • Presentation - Ellie and Katy researched the benefits of gardening on mental health then produced a wonderful PowerPoint presentation to share this information with the rest of the school. 
  • Event Planning - The rest of the pupils worked in groups to plan our final event and the others joined in when they had finished their own work.
  1. Tarra, Emily, Shahzaib, Kyle, Liam and Brodie decided what food and drink will be served basing them on what we have grown in the garden, then researched recipes and finally costed the materials. We spoke to Mrs McKinnon in Home Economics and she kindly agreed to let us use a school kitchen classroom to bake our scones, which we will serve with strawberry jam. We were hoping to make soup too but that has proved too problematic so we will make toast on the bonfire along with our baked potatoes and toasted marshmallows and Mrs McLeod will make a pea and bean spread for the toast.
  2. William, Cameron and Oliver planned our events. They had to include the survey and an information table showing what we have achieved over the 18 months but decided to include a planting demonstration and a tombola as well. Now we need to approach local businesses for donations to our tombola.

Finally, all the pupils made up posters to advertise the event and each took responsibility for one aspect of the event to ensure that all the equipment and materials needed for that aspect made it from school to the park and then from the park back to school on the day of the event. We are soooooo looking forward to it!




Thu 28/6/19 - Keep Scotland Beautiful's One Planet Picnic Pocket Garden Competition - Update

Mon 3/6/19 - Keep Scotland Beautiful's One Planet Picnic Pocket Garden Competition - Update

  • Fantastic news! Hermitage Academy's entry was one of the overall winners! We won Best Water Garden Design. Congratulations to all involved, especially Isabelle! A huge thanks to everyone who contributed to making this such a great success: all new S2 pupils, their i-time teachers, the Senior Management Team, the office staff, the janitors but particular thanks go to Mr Cameron for building the composter and accompanying us to Edinburgh for both set-up and dismantling, Melissa Simpson (Hermitage Park Manager) and Mrs Dean (office staff) for all the horticultural advice and donations of plants, James Laird and his family for donating the pallets, Ardarden Farm Shop for their donation of plants to a teacher who was panicking at the last minute and Isabelle's gran for her support in providing Isabelle with inspiration, plants and advice. Well done, everyone and keep an eye out for us in the local newspaper!

Fri 31/5/19 to Sun 2/6/19 - Gardening Scotland, Edinburgh

  • After months of preparation, Isabelle Gibrat's winning design in Keep Scotland Beautiful's One Planet Picnic Pocket Garden Competition was finally realised, transported to the Royal Highland Centre in Ingliston and set up in the Garden 4 Life area. There is stiff competition from the other 23 winning designs - overall winners still to be announced - keep your fingers crossed!

Wed 24/4/19 - Hermitage Park Trip 7

  • As the greenhouse was not ready for us to work on, pupils helped with some general maintenance in the park. Most pupils weeded and planted box plants in some of the flower beds by the sun dial while the rest erected and cemented in an old telegraph pole onto which a solar panel will be mounted. This will power a nearby bird-watching camera - an exciting addition to an already fabulous park! Some pupils even took it upon themselves to remove some of the graffiti in the park, sparking the idea of a sponsored litter pick and signage clean to raise funds for facilities for teenagers. Watch this space! All thanks to National Lottery Funding!

Thu 18/4/19 - Great British Spring Clean - Sponsored Litter Pick

  • Some pupils from S1 and S2 spent 30 minutes each on a litter pick of the woods behind and beside the school. In such a small window of time pupils far exceeded all expectations: S1 picked a whopping 19.4kg of litter and S2 picked an excellent 13.9kg. S1 beat S2 in the amount of litter picked but can S2 beat S1 in the amount of money raised? Funds will be used to purchase bins for recycling in the school with any excess being given to the charity the Eco Committee chose, ACT. There is still time to hand in donations so please give generously!

Wed 27/3/19 - Hermitage Park Trip 6

  • The February trip was rained off but thankfully the weather was a bit warmer and drier for the March trip! Pupils watched an expert demonstrate how to plant soft fruit bushes and potatoes properly and then they had fun putting their learning into practice. Lots of measuring, precision digging and teamwork required today! All thanks to National Lottery Funding!

25/2/19 to 10/3/19 - Fairtrade Fortnight 

  • 90kg Rice Challenge - Unfortunately, this was unsuccessful and not enough money was raised to purchase 90kg of Fairtrade rice. Those who gave money for rice now have until the end of June to request a refund from Mrs McLeod in the Modern Languages base, after which time any money left will be sent to the Fairtrade Foundation as a donation to this very worthy cause.

25/2/19 to 8/3/19 - Presentation of Beach & Marine Litter Workshop findings at S1 to S6 assemblies 

  • Lewis Neilson, Carla Gorman & Aatiquah Shah did a great job of presenting the group's findings to the school at assembly - well done! 

Wed 27/2/19 - World Polar Bear Day 

  • Eco Club learned all about polar bears and how climate change is affecting them.

Wed 20/2/19 - Eco Committee Meeting 4 

  • Eco Reps learned all about past & future events, they were given an update on the Anti-Litter Campaign and then they voted on which Eco charity to support as a school. ACT, a local charity which supports the unemployed and people with mental health issues while improving the local environment, won the vote by a great majority. Eco Reps then relayed this information to the i-time classes.

Wed 6/2/19 - Beach & Marine Litter Follow-Up Workshop

  • Pupils learned a little more about beach & marine litter then had the opportunity to finish off their presentations and practise them in preparation for presenting them at assembly. 

Thu 31/1/19 - Hermitage Park Trip 5

  • After a bitterly cold night (minus 5 degrees c), the ground was too hard for any planting so pupils worked hard at pruning the hedges at the Grant St entrance to the park, all the while ensuring the area was kept clear and tidy for the public to be able to use the entrance. Great job! All thanks to National Lottery Funding!

Wed 9/1/19 - Eco Committee Meeting 3

  • Eco Reps were reminded of our Green Flag journey so far, our Anti-Litter Campaign was launched and pupils were informed about recycling facilities at Hermitage Academy as well as past and future Eco events.

Wed 5/12/19 - Beach & Marine Litter Workshop

  • Ben from the GRAB Trust came to Hermitage Acadeny and delivered a day-long workshop on Beach & Marine Litter to pupils from S1 to S3. Pupils were fascinated by what they learned about marine life in Argyll & Bute, how litter is affecting this wildlife and were keen to learn more about what they can do to help reduce this litter. Finally they started creating PowerPoint presentations or a website to inform the rest of the school of their findings. There will be a follow-up workshop in the new year for them to complete their work before presenting it to the school.

Mon 3/12/18 - Hermitage Park Trip 4 

  • We were blessed with a beautifully sunny day and pupils had great fun shifting compost to the demonstration gardens, clearing plots in the demonstration gardens and helping create a platform for a dipping pond. Heritage Lottery Fund sent along a videographer and our group was included in a short promotional video, which can be seen here: Can you spot our pupils?! All thanks to National Lottery Funding!

Wed 31/10/18 - Hermitage Park Workshop 3 

  • This time the Park came to us! Park Manager, Melissa, and her staff gave our pupils a very informative workshop. Pupils gained an overview of the Community Kitchen Garden project and learned all about seeds, planting and soil. Then, in groups, pupils discussed a variety of themes for the kitchen garden and used seed catalogues and the internet to decide what kind of plants to use: there will be an international patch (Mexican and Korean so far!), a rainbow vegetable plot, a medicinal herb bed, a smoothie and jams fruit cage and a greenhouse for more delicate plants and to start seedlings off. In the afternoon pupils used a plan of the demonstration gardens and collaborated to decide which plants to put where: the fruit cages will be along the Victoria St wall to the north, the fruit trees will be along the east wall, the green house will be in the sunny north-west plot, with the other beds being more towards the middle and in the shadier south end there will be the tool store and the compost.  All thanks to National Lottery Funding!

Wed 24/10/18 - Eco Committee Meeting 2

  • Eco Reps were updated on the progress of our Green Flag journey, the structure of Eco Schools in Hermitage Academy was explained and pupils were informed about past and future Eco activities.

Tue 23/10/18 - Mental Health Group Workshop

  • S6 pupils were asked to research what mental health is and how physical activities like gardening afffect mental health. They were also asked to research how best to survey the school population and create a survey about mental health and how the Community Kitchen Garden project is affecting this.

Thu 27/9/18 - Hermitage Park Trip 2 

  • Senior pupils used saws and hammers to pull down an old fence, salvage what wood they could and used it to mend a newer fence that had been damaged. They also pruned back overgrown foliage and transported all the waste to a safe location to be disposed of. Junior pupils used rakes, buckets and a wheelbarrow to weed, clear and level a bed ready for planting. They all had fun and were very satisfied with the results! All thanks to National Lottery Funding!

Wed 5/9/18 - Eco Committee Meeting 1

  • Eco Reps learned about all the steps we need to take to achieve a Green Flag award and what we have already completed. They listened to the results of the Environmental Review and, on the basis of this, voted on the 3 topics to focus on over the next 2 years: Litter, Biodiversity and Food & the Environment. Pupils were encouraged to come up with ideas for our Eco Action Plan.

Fri 31/8/19 - Hermitage Park Trip 1 

  • Pupils learned how to use saws, loppers and secateurs to chop down invasive trees and then transported them by wheelbarrow to a safe place for burning.They also weeded and cleared some land, transported some mulch by wheelbarrow and mulched the land to prevent weeds re-growing. Pupils had a great day and were pleased to see the results of their hard work. All thanks to National Lottery Funding!

20/8/18 to 31/8/18 - Eco Elections

  • Pupils had to elect a pupil from each i-time class to represent them at Eco Committee Meetings, informing the class of what has been discussed and bringing any ideas from the class to the Eco Committee.