Garden designer joins forces with Ashington schoolchildren for flowerbed project

An award-winning garden designer has been working with the town council and local kids to create ‘sustainable planting solutions’ in Ashington.

By Amanda Bourn
Tuesday, 19th July 2022, 5:35 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th July 2022, 5:36 pm

Local man Sean Murray, a horticulturist, said he was “delighted” to work on designs for his home town and has developed schemes which generate year-round interest, are sustainable and encourage pollinators.

He said: “I am thrilled to be involved in creating some sustainable planting schemes that will provide a haven for local people.

"The planting will have interest throughout the year, not only from flowers but from stems, leaves and seed heads with an emphasis on perfume, especially in the winter months. I hope to bring a green sanctuary right into the town centre as well as the approaches to our town.”

James Knott pupils with their £500 cheque.

The town council was keen for schools to be involved in the project, so invited pupils from Bishop’s Primary, Castle School and James Knott Primary to create ‘Work in Progress’ signs to inform of and celebrate the sustainable beds to come. Each received £500 for their efforts, to be spent on sustainability projects.

Clare Marriot, head teacher of Bishop’s Primary School, said: “We were delighted to be part of this wonderful project. This year we have done a lot of work to encourage our children to celebrate and look after their own community, so this project gave them another opportunity to do this.

Plants currently in situ will be reused elsewhere in the town and the new scheme will be planted in the week beginning September 20. Mr Murray will work alongside a team of two neighbourhood services officers, Mark Air and Ryan Appleby, who have readied the beds.

Dawn Watson, a teacher at Castle School said: “Our pupils have missed being able to be out and about over the past couple of years. This project allowed us to reconnect with the town and contribute to our local community.”

Pupils from Castle School with their bumper cheque, handed over by council’s assets and facilities manager, Stephen Humphrey.

And James Knott teacher Claire Donnelly added: "We were all excited to get to work and are incredibly proud of how our hard work and commitment has paid off, being awarded £500 for our school Eco-Fund which will help us fund projects such as making classrooms greener space by buying indoor plants, improving the garden area and hopefully kick start a forest school environment in the future!”

Smiles all round from Bishop's Primary School pupils.