20 March 2018

Putting the green into Mere Green – pupils dig mayor’s eco prize

Mere Green-fingered pupils at the ATLP’s Mere Green Primary impressed the mayor of Sutton Coldfield, councillor David Pears, on Friday (16 March) with their ambitious plans to create an eco-friendly outdoor learning space.

The dignitary visited the school to present the young gardeners with a cheque for £500 and to congratulate them on scooping the Mayor’s Eco Challenge prize. A total of 23 schools entered the competition by submitting plans to create sustainable and green schools and Mere Green is among four schools with the most “exciting and environmental projects.”

The Eco Team and staff member Debbie Cox putting the ‘Green’ in Mere Green

Now, Mere Green will use the prize money to cultivate their dreams, which include home grown produce to serve at meal times and an outdoor library.

Speaking to the children, the mayor said:

I really like the school’s vision – a variety of planting areas, seeds, birds, water butts and lots of great ideas. This project is about community, moving schools forward and engaging the children. We are delighted to be able to help schools and pupils bring their visions to life and to take a keen interest in their environment.”

Mere Green project leaders, Lis Blizzard and Debbie Cox, said the quad regeneration project began as the neglected outdoor key stage 2 area did not reflect the overall look of the newly refurbished school.

Lis (pictured above right with the mayor) said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to receive this prize in recognition of the children’s hard work and it will make such a difference to our school. We’d like to thank the mayor for the generous donation and for coming along to meet us today, this initiative has inspired and delighted our children, who are passionate about creating a sustainable and green school and enjoying all the benefits that outdoor learning brings.

We’re excited about our plans to transform the quad. Half of the area will be taken over as an outdoor library space, an area with seating and a shade that classes can use. The other half will return to a gardening area that will be planted with seeds, plants and flowers.

“With the extra £500 that we have kindly been given by the mayor, the eco/gardening club will grow vegetables that the kitchen staff can use for the children’s lunches and we will plant fruit trees that again can be used in the school kitchen. The other beds will be taken over by plants that attract birds, bees, butterflies and other insects. We already have our own water butts and compost bin. We are also hoping to install bat boxes, bird boxes and bird tables as well as bug hotels, that we hope to make and upcycle ourselves.”