School garden is set to grow again after firms rally round
New kit to replace items yobs destroyed back in October
EXCITED pupils will soon be able to use their school garden again after businesses replaced a picnic table and planters destroyed by vandals.
Children at Werrington Primary School were distraught when the planters, which had filled by their gardening club, were emptied into their new pond. The Sentinel revealed that their bench was also thrown off the roof, damaging their shed, in October.
Teacher Kay Bolton appealed to businesses for donations to help restore the habitat in the pond after it was destroyed by compost from the planters.
She said: “Our PCSO Steve Sherratt canvassed all of our local businesses to ask for donations to make sure that the items destroyed were replaced.
“We’ve received a new picnic bench from Acresgreen, in Caverswall, and Jacksons Nurseries, in Bagnall, have sent a selection of planters to go inside the pond, which is very kind of them to do.
“It’s been absolutely brilliant. The children are overwhelmed by everybody’s kindness. It’s been really great to see such community spirit from businesses and parents who’ve also provided donations.”
The school has also installed CCTV in an attempt to deter vandals.
Mrs Bolton, the ‘forest school’ lead at the Washerwall Lane primary, said: “We had a non-uniform day, which raised over £600 for CCTV to be installed, and the parents have been very generous. One actually donated the cameras for free, which helped us to save a huge amount. With the non-uniform day and all of the donations, we’re looking at a value of £1,500.”
Mrs Bolton said she and parents also spent a day cleaning the pond.
“Once compost goes in it takes a lot to get it out,” she added. “The pond was only built in May and the school spent £3,500 on having it built. We’re hoping to restore this. We’ve got a ‘frogitat’ in there now (frog habitat) and the planters, so we’re looking forward to new life in the spring.
“The donations have made the process much quicker. At first, I didn’t know how we were going to do it. I’ve had to learn how to use a pond hoover to get the compost out which was also donated by a parent.”
Mrs Bolton says the children can’t wait to get back in the garden after using it in the summer.
“They are excited to use the garden again by the end of this month,” she added. “They were thrilled when we told them about the donations. They were amazed by the generosity and that people cared enough to put things right for them.”
PCSO Steve Sherratt, of Staffordshire Police, said: “We’ve had a lot of donations. The school’s received a selection of plants to go inside the pond and a replacement bench.
“It’s amazing that these companies have come together and given their items for free. It’s overwhelming, and there’s a very strong community spirit.”