Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 14.23.44An environmental project is gathering pace with green-fingered pupils digging in to offer support 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.

Managed by Groundwork NE & Cumbria, the project brings together local residents and community groups, and 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 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.

Commenting on the planting scheme Sarian Creigh, technology teacher at Glendale 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 housing provider is responsible for 215 properties throughout Wooler.

Commenting on the Padgepool Place environmental project and the planting scheme undertaken by pupils at Glendale School, Gillian Buchan at 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 fully enjoy the space by spring.”

Jane Austin-Walker, senior project officer – volunteer and greenspace at Groundwork NE & Cumbria, 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.  It’s great that Glendale School got involved and I hope the pupils enjoyed learning about wildflower meadows and taking part in a project which will enhance their local area.  There will be other opportunities for the community to play a part when planting begins in the next few weeks.”

The Young Firefighters have already played a part in the scheme, giving up a number of days to clear the site over the course of two weeks.

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