Island Roads helps school’s sensory garden grow

Posted on: June 22, 2019 at 7:51 am
Picture shows back, garden designer John Grimes, Dave Wallis and Mark McCarthy pupils (l—r) with the brooms Pixie Burman and Josie Harrison and front year four teacher Tina Bridges with pupils from left to right Billy and Amelie Edmunds.

Island Roads volunteers have joined efforts to create a new sensory garden at Wootton Primary School.

The school is working hard to complete the garden – funded by a £5,000 grant from the ‘Tesco Bags of Help Community Awards – by April.  A big part of that work was laying a pathway and after digging out the foundations the school turned to Island Roads and its volunteering scheme for help.

The approach paid off and ten metric tonnes of foundation and ‘blacktop’ were laid in two shifts by Island Roads crew of Joel Lyon, Richard Stewart, Toby Hope and Ryan Hawker.

“It was a massive help. We are relying on support from within the Island’s community to get the work done and the assistance of Island Roads was invaluable,“ said Mark McCarthy, community governor at the school who is leading the project.

“It is quite a job to do that amount of work in a confined school space and if it were left to volunteers we would still be doing it! The assistance has allowed us to move on with other aspects of the projects and we are looking forward to the next phases of work ahead of opening in April.”

Dave Wallis, Island Roads operations and maintenance manager said: “We were delighted to help out and the garden project is clearly going to be a fantastic area for the pupils to enjoy and learn in.”

The sensory garden area is designed to allow pupils, staff and visitors to sit, walk and even cycle in a stimulating area that promotes wellbeing and is in tune with the natural environment. It is being created in a currently unused area and will contain features and plants to attract nature.

Head teacher Jane Wilford said: “The garden will help children learn about nature and why we need a diverse and sustainable environment. It will also be used by our gardening club, after school clubs and for outdoor teaching so a great many pupils will benefit from the project.”

Jane also thanked Elizabeth Hodgson of Groundwork and Elaine Dove, the manager of Tesco’s store in Ryde, who have supported the project as partners in the Bags of Help Community Awards.