Briary Primary School in Herne Bay is creating a new forest area for its pupils to enjoy with help from a local housebuilder.
The site team from Bellway’s Oxenden Park development across the road, alongside Kingsheath Construction, volunteered their time to help transform a previously unkempt piece of land into an open space suitable for outdoor learning.
The two teams cleared overgrown shrubbery and are in the process of removing planters, fences, a dilapidated shed and disposing of rubbish. The idea is to create an area where the children can plant trees, flowers and vegetables while learning about the environment and being close to nature.
Lucy Dillon, a Year 6 teacher at Briary Primary School, who is leading the project, said: “We are all very grateful for Bellway’s help to create our new forest area.
“This new ecology space is located at the bottom of the school field and was once a well-tended vegetable garden. Since lockdown, it has become unruly, and we haven’t had the resources to maintain it.
“We needed some help to remove all the overgrown shrubbery and create an open space for the children to utilise and learn.”
Lucy was inspired to start the project after learning about the Woodland Trust scheme offering free trees to plant while watching an episode of the television programme Countryfile. She applied and was sent 30 different types of saplings, which the children have planted in buckets ready to be transferred to the new forest area.
Lucy added: “Having this area for the children to learn outside of the classroom will really help them focus, especially the children who tend to feel anxious, as being outdoors will help them to relax and be at one with nature.
“We are really gratefully to Bellway and Kingsheath Construction for clearing this bit of land, which will benefit all the children in the school.”
Mark Harrop, Sales Director for Bellway Kent, said: “It’s always great to see children enjoying the outdoors so we were more than happy to help Briary Primary School with this exciting project.
“Being outside and interacting with their peers is an important part of a child’s development. With children spending a lot of time indoors over the past few years, unable to go outside and explore due to multiple lockdowns, this project is particularly timely.”
Bellway is building 450 homes at Oxenden Park, off Greenhill Road, including a mix of one and two-bedroom apartments, and two, three and four-bedroom houses.
For more information about the development, visit, https://www.bellway.co.uk/new-homes/kent/oxenden-park.