A slugs and snails hotel, a ladybird wheelbarrow and a bug house were among the entries by local children to Merryhatton Garden Centre’s school gardening competition.

The competition, designed to encourage youngsters to try their hand at gardening, gave primary pupils the challenge of creating a miniature wildlife garden. Entrants were able to use any kind of container they liked, and could choose to use plants and garden materials, or to make their garden from craft supplies.

Open to all primary schools across East Lothian, entries came in from Musselburgh to Dunbar and from P1 to P7.

Merryhatton owner Helen MacDonald said: “We were amazed at the creativity displayed in every single entry we received. So much thought and attention to detail had clearly gone into every entry. Judging was an extremely difficult job. So much so, that as well as the three main prize winners, we’ve offered all entrants a voucher for a free ice cream sundae in our cafe in recognition of all their efforts!” The first prize was awarded to Amber Duncan in P1 at Athelstaneford Primary School for her wildlife garden party. The judges were very impressed by her colourful garden and her attention to detail, particularly in view of her age. Amber won a £20 Merryhatton voucher for herself and a £100 voucher for her school to spend on gardening supplies. Iain Devereux, headteacher at Athelstaneford said: “We are absolutely delighted that Amber has won this special prize and we’re all very proud of her. We’re also very pleased that part of her prize is a £100 voucher for the school to spend at Merryhatton on supplies. The whole school, from nursery to P7, has put a lot of work into our school garden recently and we have been looking at how we might afford to do more in the new school year. So this matches part of what we’ve been trying to do with education and learning and will allow us to do a lot more to improve our garden and grounds.” Second prize went to Lily-Grace Lamb, in P2 at Gullane Primary, who was awarded a £15 voucher for her bug house. Amy Weatherhead, Pencaitland Primary, picked up third prize and a £10 voucher for her garden, featuring plasticine wildlife.