Creative Caithness pupils launch new ‘tap up at the top’

27 March 2024
Pupils from Canisbay Primary designed posters to help promote the new free water refill point in John O'Groats

New tap officially launched

The new Top Up Tap is situated close to the harbour in John O'Groats.

Creative pupils at Canisbay Primary have helped Scottish Water officially launch a new free water refill tap at the top of mainland Scotland with a range of colourful poster designs.

The new Top Up Tap, which is located in John O’Groats opposite the Tourist Information point by the Harbour, is part of a drive to encourage people to carry reusable water bottles and stay hydrated on the go; help protect the planet; and save money.

Pupils in P5, P6 and P7 at the primary school were set the challenge of designing eye-catching posters to promote the refill tap and produced a brilliant range of entries. P7 pupil Phoebe Ham (11) was chosen as the overall winner, with classmates Duncan McGee (11) and Iowa Adams (11) as joint runners-up.

The winning pupils each received a book token, while all the children who took part in the competition received a refillable water bottle.

Local water network operatives John Gunn and Ian Oag helped to judge the entries.

John said: “It was great to get the local school children involved in helping us to promote our new tap up at the top of Scotland – their enthusiasm and creativity was clear to see in the entries we received for the poster competition, and we were really impressed by their efforts.

“We felt the posters designed by Phoebe, Duncan and Iowa really managed to highlight the way we can all be more sustainable in our daily activities simply by carrying a refillable bottle. It’s better for the planet and better for your pocket.”

Ian added: “We’re delighted to be launching this new top up tap at such a beautiful spot – here you can visit the harbour, take a photo with the famous signpost and make sure to top up your water bottle to stay hydrated for all the day’s activities. We’ve been encouraging people to top up from the tap for many years – and now we’ve got a tap up at the top to welcome locals and visitors alike to John O’Groats!”

Headteacher at Canisbay Primary School, Rhona Moodie said:  “The children were delighted to be able to take part in the poster competition to help promote the Top Up Tap and really enjoyed creating their designs.  Lots of the children had seen the tap and thought it was a great idea, especially since we’ve had a focus on sustainability recently.”

Wick and East Caithness Councillor Jan McEwan said: “I think this is a really great idea – it is an excellent facility for both locals and tourists to make use of and I’m sure it will be very popular. 
It benefits the climate as there will be less bottled water being bought, therefore less plastic bottles - and also saves the public money.”

More than 100 taps have now been installed at sites across Scotland including harbours, beaches, national parks, botanical gardens and other top tourist attractions. Since their launch in 2018, more than the equivalent of five million 330ml single-use plastic bottles have been filled by the taps.

Pupils from Canisbay Primary designed posters to help promote the new free water refill point in John O'Groats

Tap Up at the Top

P7 Canisbay Primary pupils Duncan McGee, Phoebe Ham and Iowa Adams with their winning designs promoting the new Top Up Tap.