Youngsters dig in to support housing scheme planting project

Year 7 pupils at Glendale Middle School planting their mini-meadow pots.

Year 7 pupils at Glendale Middle School planting their mini-meadow pots.

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An environmental project is gathering pace as green-fingered pupils from a north Northumberland school helping with a planting scheme.

Residents in Padgepool Place in Wooler are set to benefit from an enhanced green space located in a residential area close to the Cheviot Centre, which will feature an array of wild flowers, seasonal trees and fencing by April, after funding was awarded by Four Housing’s Community Development Fund.

Four Housing's Kerry  Howie, Glendale pupils Harriet Robinson and Daniel McGlyn and Jane Austin-Walker of Groundwork.

Four Housing's Kerry Howie, Glendale pupils Harriet Robinson and Daniel McGlyn and Jane Austin-Walker of Groundwork.

Managed by Groundwork NE and Cumbria, the project brings together local residents and community groups, while 25 Year 7 pupils from Glendale Middle School have been helping out by each planting a mini-meadow pot, using upland hay meadow seeds from Rothbury, which are ready to be transferred to the site in spring.

Working with staff from Groundwork and social-housing provider Four Housing, the session supported the pupils’ technology learning and also included activities around the subject of seed dispersal.

Sarian Creigh, technology teacher at the school, said: “The children truly benefit from an enhanced stake in their local community and they have learned a great deal about the importance of bio-diversity, and also how plants reproduce.”

Four Housing’s Community Development Fund was set up to support local projects in north Northumberland. The not-for-profit provider is responsible for 215 properties throughout Wooler.

Gillian Buchan, from Four Housing, said: “We identified a need to make improvements to a communal green space close to a residential area within Padgepool Place.

“Through the Community Development Fund, we were able to enlist Groundwork North East to manage a project to improve the area, involving residents and community groups in the process.

“Work is progressing well, with the site cleared and ready for planting, and we hope that local residents will be able to enjoy the space fully by spring.”

Groundwork NE and Cumbria’s Jane Austin-Walker, senior project officer for volunteers and greenspace, said: “The project is already making a real difference to the area. We cleared away three skips of rubble and ivy and already the impact is evident.

“Not only has the scheme been a big success in terms of improving the look of the area, the community engagement aspect has been fantastic and it’s very much been led by local residents.”

The Young Firefighters have already played a part in the scheme.