A PRIMARY school’s campaign to encourage communities to mark events by blowing bubbles instead of releasing balloons has been shortlisted for a national award.

Pupils at Longniddry Primary School last year launched Bubbles Beat Balloons, which encourages people to blow eco-friendly bubbles as an alternative to releasing balloons at public celebrations or tribute events.

Mass balloon releases have become more popular in recent years but leaves plastic litter which endangers wildlife.

The scheme has received high-profile backing, including from Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Now youngsters could be celebrating at the Nature of Scotland Awards after the shortlist of nominees was announced at a reception at the Scottish Parliament.

Yvonne Hart, P4/5 teacher at the school, was thrilled with the recognition for the awards, which are hosted by RSPB Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage.

She said: “Winners will now be announced on December 4 – so an exciting wait for the pupils who have championed this cause after finding evidence of balloon litter on local beaches.

“The campaign was a crucial part of the school’s work in achieving their Gold Rights Respecting Schools Award from UNICEF.”

Started by P4 pupils at the school in the summer of 2018, it has become a school-wide project, with children taking their campaign to the Scottish Parliament and being widely praised.

Businesses in the village and community groups have got behind the school, from the dentist surgery to the church and library.

The awards are now in their eighth year, with the youngsters from Longniddry looking to pick up the youth and education prize.

All those shortlisted are invited to the awards ceremony, which will take place at a black-tie presentation dinner hosted by Scottish wildlife presenter and natural history filmmaker Gordon Buchanan, and BBC Scotland radio and television presenter Euan McIlwraith, at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Edinburgh.

Anne McCall, director of RSPB Scotland, said: “These awards are a great opportunity to celebrate people who strive to help nature in Scotland every day. All of the projects and people nominated this year are making important contributions to the future of wildlife, no matter the scale of their impact.

“Every nominee should feel proud of what they have achieved.”