New school garden officially opened

A NEW school garden has been officially opened at Aston-by-Sutton Primary School – less than a year after it was originally conceived.

Mayor of Frodsham Cllr Liam Jones opened the garden at a special ceremony attended by teachers, parents, governors and children.

It has been created by a team of volunteers led by parent and governor Lesley Charteris.

Last September, a meeting of staff and governors discussed an overgrown piece of land at the side of the school and decided it needed to be cleared and made into a
usable space for children.

Lesley Charteris volunteered to manage the project.

Laurels growing several metres high were cut back, weeds and nettles removed and a large pond filled in with four tonnes of rubble, to make a smaller, safer pond, that has already attracted wildlife.

The garden now has a veggie patch, chillout area, plastic bottle greenhouse, quiet bench, natural pond, wild garden, sensory herbs, wishing tree, a fairy garden, a scarecrow and lots of flowers and shrubs.

To ensure the project was as environmentally friendly as possible, the team made use of waste top soil, electrical reel drums for tables, a recycled telegraph pole for seats and stepping stones, that were painted with ladybirds and bees. Wooden pallets were turned into raised beds, plastic bottles became a greenhouse, sleepers were upcycled into seats and bottle tops were hung from colourful ribbons to make a dreamcatcher. The team salvaged painted bean tins for plant pots, they grew plants from people’s garden cuttings, lengths of bamboo made wind chimes and small pallets were used as wall mounted strawberry planters.

The school used its own budget to pay for stones, membrane and bark and everything else was funded through donations, recycling, upcycling and searching for free items online.
So far, the team are growing tomatoes, shallots, red onions, kale, cauliflower, courgettes, rhubarb, strawberries, cherries, apples, black currents and blueberries. Environmentally friendly pest prevention has been installed in the form of colourful raised beds with chicken wire covers to protect crops from rabbits and squirrels.

The team plan to share the veggies by letting children, parents and staff help themselves to fresh product and throw a few pence into the honesty box, to pay for next year’s supplies.

Head teacher Anna Plant said: “We are delighted with all the hard work from our volunteers, especially Lesley Charteris, who has worked tirelessly to make it a success. The results are outstanding and we are so proud to share this valuable resource with our children.”

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