Naunton Park Preschool were allocated £680 from the Cheltenham Borough Council’s Cheltenham Zero Community Fund to assist in the building of 3 large wooden planters, soil and plants in put in the playground. The playgroup has a dedicated space located within Naunton Park School grounds, in Leckhampton.
Benefits of the project
From 1970-2019 41% of species have decreased in abundance and 15% of species are threatened with extinction in Britain. Therefore efforts to provide habitat and food sources for biodiversity is increasingly important. A mix of ever green, winter flowering and berry species, supplied by local garden centres, were planted to provide a consistent habitat and food source throughout the seasons.
The children got stuck in and planted the species on a community planting day. The opportunity to connect children with the natural environment improves academic performances, enhances cognitive abilities and supports creativity and problem solving.
It is hoped that the planters, situated along a boundary next to the road, will also reduce some of the short-term air pollution from passing vehicles and improve local air quality.
Challenges & Opportunities
Once the vegetation outgrows the planters, the eventual aim is to seek permission to plant directly into the ground and create a permanent hedge. Due the building originally being intended for temporary use, there are some uncertainties surrounding capacity for long term, permanent features. However, this isn’t halting the ambitions for further greening of the area. There are aims to improve the energy efficiency of the preschool and install LED lighting.
What is the CheltenhamZero Community Fund?
Cheltenham Borough Council’s roadmap to eliminate the borough’s carbon footprint included a climate action fund to help finance the road to zero carbon. In 2021 the borough council made available a pot of funding, worth £50,000, to allocate to local community organisations for funding to support climate emergency activities across Cheltenham.