PRIMARY pupils pitched in to help Strathclyde University spruce up a green space following engineering works.

Youngsters from St Mungo's Primary donned their wellies and upped spades to plant trees in Rottenrow Gardens.

The 21 fruit trees replace those lost as part of works to install a network of pipes for the university’s new £20 million Combined Heat and Power (CHP) District Heating system.

Some 46 children were helped by Glasgow Lord Provost Eva Bolander to plant seven apple, pear and plum trees and received gifts, including gardening gloves and their own personal hand trowels.

Roddy Yarr, Assistant Director of Estates Services at Strathclyde University, said: “The CHP District Heating system is a major investment for the University and will significantly reduce the environmental impact of our campus.

“We’re over half-way through the project now so we were delighted to welcome the school children from St Mungo's to help us not only to replace some of the trees lost due to the works but also plant new ones, which as well as improving the local environment will also provide food to local community projects.”

The tree planting event was part of the university’s Strathclyde Commitment -a community benefit programme involving a range of local projects with an emphasis on apprenticeships and engaging with community groups and initiatives.

The CHP District Heating system is part of a £650m investment over ten years by Strathclyde in its campus infrastructure and will reduce the university’s carbon-dioxide emissions by 4500 tonnes and save £2m annually.

Vital Energi is designing and installing the new low carbon system and took time out from their schedule to visit St Mungo’s Primary School to speak to the pupils about the work they are doing and how a new heating system will benefit the environment.

The system, part-funded by the Scottish Funding Council, will see a new 3.3MWe CHP engine and 24MW of boiler plant located in a new Energy Centre on John Street deliver both heating and electricity via 2000 meters of pipes and more than 1000 meters of cable.

The network can be expanded in future.

Hugh Thompson, Project Director for Vital Energi, said: “We are excited to play a key part in this project, which has also brought local investment and employment opportunities to Glasgow, as well as help the university to reduce its long term carbon emissions.

"By teaching our younger generations about the positive impact of sustainable energy generation, this CHP District Heating system will leave a legacy for both the University and the wider community for years to come.”

The CHP district heating system will be operational at the end of October 2018.