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Meet the young builders behind Kirrie’s swankiest new hotel

Webster's pupils and staff with Kirrie Connections visitors at the bug hotel opening
Webster's pupils and staff with Kirrie Connections visitors at the bug hotel opening. Pic: Paul Reid

Completion was delayed by pandemic problems which caused chaos across the construction industry.

But the swishest new hotel is Angus is now open for business.

And tiny residents have the youngsters of Webster’s High School to thank for being the snuggest bugs in town.

The Prince’s Trust group at the Kirriemuir secondary have built a spectacular bug hotel in the grounds of the town’s dementia garden.

And pupils were joined by members of Kirrie Connections for an event to herald the successful project.

Bob Mackie(left) and Carl Mellor from Kirrie Connections' Tuesday group with pupil Gregor McIntosh.
Bob Mackie(left) and Carl Mellor from Kirrie Connections’ Tuesday group with pupil Gregor McIntosh. Pic: Paul Reid.

Community support

Amanda Mailley of the ASN department at Webster’s High says it has been a real team effort.

“The Prince’s Trust group did this as part of their community project with Kirrie Connections,” said Amanda.

“It actually started pre-Covid, so it’s been delayed a bit, but the pupils have done a really fantastic job.”

And she hailed the level of community support for the project.

Pupils Keialee Murray and Zara Milne with the bug hotel.
Pupils Keialee Murray and Zara Milne with the bug hotel. Pic: Paul Reid

Guild Homes, slater David Simpson, plumber David Elder and Logie Sawmill all helped out.

“I’d come in to school and there would be piles of materials waiting there for us – people were just dropping things off when they found out what we were doing,” said Amanda.

Fundraising keyrings spin-off

Pupils built the whole thing and laser cut intricate parts of the bug hotel.

And they replicated the designs on keyrings which are on sale at the Murton Trust nature reserve near Forfar.

Bug hotel
Laser cut designs on on the bug hotel. Pic: Paul Reid.

It’s part of a drive by the Prince’s Trust group to fundraise for three charities – Forfar Foodbank, Network for Animals and The Aegis Trust.

“It’s been a great project for all of those involved,” says Amanda.

“They put letters out asking for support and were quite often speaking directly to the folk who have been such a great help with it.”

Proud pupils

And the experience has been a rewarding one for the group.

The hands-on element of the job was 15-year-old Shane Gall’s favourite part.

“I liked the construction of it and learned new skills like slating,” he said.

Shane Gall, 15, makes some finishing touches
Shane Gall, 15, makes some finishing touches. Pic: Paul Reid

And 17-year-old Gregor McIntosh says he’s sure it will be a welcome addition to the dementia garden.

“We all put a lot of time and effort into this so we are really pleased with it,” added the sixth-year pupil.

“It’s quite a big bug hotel but it had to be aesthetically pleasing as well.

Kirrie Connections
The bug hotel sits in the Kirrie Connections garden. Pic: Paul Reid

“It’s a bit of a centre point in that part of the garden so the team is really happy with the way it’s turned out.”

Graham Galloway of Kirrie Connections says it will be another asset in the popular garden.

“The pandemic meant it’s taken a little while to get here, but the end result is absolutely fantastic,” he said.

“It’s been great to work with the Webster’s group on a community project.”

Webster's head teacher Jane Esson with pupils Morgan Whyte (left) and Gregor McIntosh
Webster’s head teacher Jane Esson with pupils Morgan Whyte (left) and Gregor McIntosh. Pic: Paul Reid.

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