The Prescotian Webzine

A pair of local schools are celebrating becoming greener than ever thanks to an environmental project that has seen pupils, mums, dads and staff all mucking in to make a difference.

Youngsters at Ashurst Primary School in Haydock have been busy planting special aromatic plants in raised beds at their school to bring an unusual multi-sensory twist to the improvements to their school grounds. The pupils previously brought parents along to a special tree planting

day run by environmental regeneration initiative The Mersey Forest at the school. The families planted apple and cherry trees that, as well as being pleasing on the eye, will also provide healthy snacks when they bear fruit.

“The children have done really well, and the effort put in by everyone at the planting day was tremendous,” said Jo Sayers, The Mersey Forest’s Community Development Officer. “The fruit trees will improve the school’s grounds and provide healthy fruit - and planting them was great green exercise too.”

Meanwhile lessons at Prescot School in Knowsley are taking on a new dimension thanks to a makeover for the school woodland, managed by pupils and staff. The wood, owned by Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council and located next to the school on Knowsley Park Lane, has been transformed over the past four years from a derelict wasteland into an innovative outdoor learning zone - and pupils are now reaping the benefits.

As well as a new open air classroom space, the woodland is also now home to an archaeological dig area, bat boxes, a nature trail and a new pond created by Year 10 pupils and environmental charity BTCV. Prescot pupil Lyndsey Lee, who has been involved in the project since the beginning, said: “Before you couldn’t even step inside this woodland. Tonnes of litter cluttered the ground and the brambles and nettles made it impossible to walk anywhere without getting stung. We knew we had to do something!”

The work at both schools is part of a series of school environment projects supported by Cory Environmental Trust, partly through the Landfill Communities Fund. Extra funds at Prescot School were also provided through European Objective 1. The partnership between Cory and schools in the local area, co-ordinated by The Mersey Forest Team, is set to continue - with funding in place for improvements at more schools over the next four years.

“It’s great to see the difference that has been made,” said Angela Haymonds, Trust Secretary of Cory Environmental Trust in Britain. “The pupils have worked really hard and it’s a project we are delighted to support.”

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