BUCKFAST pupils impressed judges of this year’s Campaign for the Protection of Rural England school writing and art competition – picking up best overall school for their writing entries and highly commended in the art category.

The St Mary’s Catholic Primary School pupils took inspiration from their school’s ‘wellbeing garden’ and the surrounding views of Dartmoor.

Head teacher Nicola Slack said: ‘This year pupils from across the school, aged three to 11 years, submitted entries and so we were thrilled to find out we’d won this year.

‘Our older pupils entered the writing competition and wrote postcards starting with the line: “I think it’s important to protect the countryside because...” whilst other pupils drew their local environment or favourite outdoor space.

‘We’re situated in Dartmoor National Park, so we’re fortunate to have lots of beautiful outdoor spaces to visit locally and we also benefit from having spacious school grounds.

‘All of our pupils from reception to year six participate in programmes of outdoor education each year, which hopefully helps them to appreciate and take care of their local area.’

Ms Slack said the school has supported the work of the CPRE for a number of years, by raising awareness of the work the charity carries out and by participating in various activities, including entering the annual school competitions.

The CPRE said it received the highest ever number of entries from primary schools in Devon in this year’s competition.

Director Penny Mills said: ‘We were very impressed with the overall quality of entries from the children, in both the art and writing competitions. They showed they’d really thought about the many reasons why the countryside is important and special and had used their creativity to express themselves in pictures and words.’