On our patch! School goes green to give its pupils more space

Friday, 7th January — By Anna Lamche

St Peter & St Pauls 2

Sofia and mum Francesca put planters outside the school

A SCHOOL in one of the borough’s most densely populated areas has found itself at the heart of a community gardening project, writes Anna Lamche.

St Peter & St Paul’s Primary School, near Old Street, recently kicked off a scheme to “green” the school grounds and its surrounding area.

The first stage of the campaign is geared towards the transformation of an unloved patch of ground into a “secret garden” for all the children to enjoy. “There was nothing in there, just a few broken chairs,” said Maria Bennett, the school’s business manager.

Zara and mum Chieriell hard at work on the green project

However, following some pro bono gardening work by the law firm Kingsley Napley, along with some help from pupils and their parents, the garden’s paving stones have been removed and the space is now ready for planting.

The plan is to create a “sensory garden” complete with a mini-orchard and raised vegetable beds. “We hope to have bees and butterflies,” Ms Bennett said.

Staff from Kingsley Napley dig deep for the big makeover

The children, who have been learning about their carbon footprint and how to grow food, have found the project “very exciting” so far. In the longer term, the school hopes to collaborate with the council to create a “wildlife corridor” between the school and the park opposite.

Many of the pupils live in flats with no outdoor space, and Ms Bennett said they hope to eventually create “little allotments” which the children can visit over weekends.

To get involved with the project, contact Maria Bennett on 020 7253 0839.

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