An area of tarmac at Pond Park Primary School has been turned into a unique Wildlife and Sensory Garden by school pupils, teachers and volunteer parents and grandparents.
The garden has been created using recycled materials and seeking funding opportunities, to reintroduce green areas of planting and wildlife to the school grounds for the benefit of the whole community.
Following the formation of a school Eco-Council in 2011, pupils identified one of the main challenges to address at the school was to reintroduce green areas to the newly refurbished school grounds, benefitting pupils’ health and wellbeing.
First steps involved sowing seeds and adding flowering plants to the established shrubs in the small border beds at the main entrance to the school. Then following successful applications to the Big Lottery Fund’s Awards For All scheme, the Northern Ireland Environment Link’s Challenge Fund and Dobbies ‘Here we Grow’ campaign, the pupils and parents were able to set about transforming a little used expanse of tarmac into a fabulous garden.
With Island Arts Centre support, local artist Alison McKnight was also involved in working with the children and parents to create mosaic paving slabs from recycled toys, tiles and found objects.
The garden project took off in 2013 with the expertise help of countryside skills expert Clive Lyttle, who helped the school community to transform what was a blank canvas into what is now a very special part of school life.