Nature garden opening

Children, parents and teachers at St Wulstan’s Catholic Primary School in Wolstanton, have celebrated the completion of an environmental project funded through the Realise Foundation charity.

The £20,000 upgrade transformed a previously overgrown part of the grounds into a wonderful outdoor space and outdoor classroom seating up to 30 children.

Pupils held a special assembly at the school on March 18 to thank The Realise Foundation.
Finlay Hammond, aged 10, is on the school’s eco committee. He said: “It was all overgrown and if the football went over the fence into that area, it was always a fight to get it back from all the tangled plants.
“Now it is a wildlife habitat with a home of minibeasts.”

The area had previously been referred to as ‘The Ditch’, but it has transformed into a vegetable plot and learning area where pupils discover how to grow plants like tomatoes, lettuces and herbs.
Now, the newly named ‘St Wulstan’s Walk’ makes use of every inch of space in the school grounds, providing extra social areas for the school’s 446 children to enjoy during lunch.

Mrs Julie Hibbs, bursar at the school, said: “This neglected part of our school grounds has been transformed into a fantastic classroom and nature area. “The wooden outdoor classroom will be beneficial in all seasons, supplying shade in the summer and shelter in the winter.”

The Realise Foundation supported the environmental improvements with a £10,000 grant. That money was matched by funds raised by the St Wulstan’s Parents, Teachers and Friends Association and school budgets.

Teams of apprentices from Aspire’s training company PM Training carried out the work, gaining valuable work experience.

Will Nixon, chief executive of the Realise Foundation, said: “The pupils and teachers at St Wulstan’s now have a fantastic excuse to get outside and enjoy the environment as they learn.

“Being outdoors will help create a connection with nature and allow youngsters to understand more about the world around them.”