• St Edward's Runcorn

Green-fingered Halton pupils

Pupils from a Halton primary school flexed their ‘green fingers’ in their new allotment – thanks to a helping hand from bridge builder Merseylink.

With no school field and little opportunity for experiencing nature, teachers at St Edward’s Catholic Primary School in Runcorn were in need of some extra help to bring a much-desired school allotment project to life.

Following a successful application to Merseylink’s Time Bank scheme, the school now has a new allotment that boasts raised beds, compost bins, water butts and secure wooden storage – plus a large timber shelter that can be used for outdoor classroom activities.

The whole area has been finished off with a wooden fence, giving the space a natural look and feel. And with the allotment in place, green-fingered youngsters are busy planning this year’s crops.

Headteacher Karen O’Hare, said: “We are a small school in a built-up area with no school field to use but our children are all keen to plant and grow vegetables and fruit.

“Some of the younger children have grown potatoes, carrots and tomatoes in tubs, but due to the size of our grounds we haven’t been able to take it any further.

“Merseylink has done so much more with the area than we thought possible. The standard of workmanship is very high and an area that was previously useless has been completely transformed into a wonderful allotment. The children are really excited to start planting and making use of it.”

Time Bank was set up to provide practical help and support to local community projects, schools, colleges and the local authority.

Neil Wilcock, Merseylink’s employment and skills co-ordinator, said: “It’s important for children to learn where their food comes from so we’re delighted to have been able to support this fantastic project.

“The children now have a safe, outdoor environment that they can use to get closer to nature whatever the weather.

“I’d like to thank our team and generous suppliers who have worked extremely hard to turn this dream into a reality for the school”.

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