Boost thanks to brainy im-plants

Sunday Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - GARDENING CLUB -

SCHOOL gar­dens are a pop­u­lar fea­ture these days - giv­ing stu­dents the op­por­tu­nity to get their hands dirty, grow their own food and ben­e­fit from ex­er­cise and fresh air.

Har­grave Park Pri­mary School in Arch­way, North Lon­don, has taken this idea one step fur­ther.

And with the help of a lo­cal Sun­shine Gar­den Cen­tre, the school has added green touches to their in­door spaces too.

The project was in­spired by a visit from Pro­fes­sor Stephen Hep­pell, who pro­motes the idea that plants in school help with chil­dren’s cog­ni­tive per­for­mance. Prof Hep­pell sug­gested that in­tro­duc­ing plants to in­door spaces works to­wards low­er­ing the C02 emis­sions and in­creas­ing the oxy­gen in a room.

Of course, as an added bonus, the class­rooms look great too.

Simon Haines, de­part­ment man­ager at Sun­shine, helped chil­dren se­lect their plants for an im­pact­ful green wall.

He said: “The se­lec­tion I put to­gether in­cluded ferns, aloe vera, spi­der plants, dragon palm and rosemary.

They were cho­sen for spe­cific rea­sons – firstly, they are all easy to look af­ter, which is im­por­tant when it is chil­dren that will be tend­ing them.

“Se­condly, all of these plants have the abil­ity to sup­ple­ment the oxy­gen in the class­room, in par­tic­u­lar the ferns and spi­der plants which have been rec­om­mended by NASA as be­ing par­tic­u­larly good at removing tox­ins from the air.”

This project is a great ex­am­ple of how a sim­ple idea can spark a pos­i­tive change.

Schools and com­mu­nity groups up and down the coun­try are work­ing to­wards greener spaces and Cul­ti­va­tion Street wants to hear about them.

The com­pe­ti­tion, spon­sored by Cal­liope®, is still open to com­mu­nity gar­dens in the UK. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit cul­ti­va­tion­street.com.

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