As the town prepares for its first Sutton Coldfield in Bloom entry those on the route are getting set to impress, including the Deanery Church of England Primary School.
The school has two key initiatives to show the judges when they visit in July. The first is a new pathway around the perimeter of the school grounds which is being built to encourage outdoor exercise. Children will walk or jog the route as part of the daily mile initiative which sees children exercise for 15 minutes a day. At various intervals along the path there will be bird boxes and bat boxes funded from the Town Council Mayor’s Challenge grant.
Children have decorated stones which they will place along the path to create interest for walkers and ownership by each child of the school. They are also planning to develop a forest area at the far end of the field which has never been accessible in the past without the path, where outdoor lessons can take place.
The second key initiative is their commitment to environmental projects via an elected Eco Council and Garden Club. The children decide on the environmental projects which will benefit the school most and look after the solar panels as part of their eco-friendly responsibilities.
The school held a very successful clean-up day in May to prepare their grounds for the judges. Over 70 volunteers, including current pupils and their families, past pupils, 9th Sutton Coldfield Guides, friends and staff of the school met early one weekend eager to make a difference. Fences were painted, overgrown bushes were cut back, edgings were re-established and leaves and weeds were removed. Contributions of containers, soil and plants were generously donated by Halls Garden Centre and other materials such as paint and tools donated by Akso Nobel, Aspire People and Gardeners World.
Head Teacher Jayne Luckett said:
“The generosity and support that has been provided is tremendous. I wish to thank everyone who was involved, not just on the day, but also by donating supplies and providing equipment for us to use. Deanery PTFA kept all the volunteers going with refreshments and Joanna Luckett provided delicious cakes!
“I wanted to thank Councillor Wood for his expertise and engagement and Beth Ashley for providing much needed tools and guidance. Although a lot was achieved on the day, the community spirit has inspired more events to take place as judging day approaches and beyond. Getting involved in Sutton Coldfield in Bloom has sparked a real interest in our environment and it is exciting to see how enthusiastic the children are!”
Their first clean up day went so amazingly well in May, that the school isn’t resting on their laurels and organised another clean up day which took place last weekend for family and friends. The aim was to continue the good work carried out at the last event and was as equally successful as the last.
Councillor Terry Wood is Chairman of the Sutton Coldfield in Bloom Working Group. He joined the school for the clean up day. He commented:
“It is really encouraging to see how Sutton Coldfield in Bloom is getting schools, businesses and organisations across the town involved in the environment, cleaning up tired and run down areas and planting gardens and planters!”
Schools, residents, businesses and other community groups still have time to get involved in Bloom by entering the Sutton Coldfield in Bloom Garden Competition (see entry form below). Hall’s Garden Centre is kindly sponsoring the competition and you can either enter online at www.suttoncoldfieldtowncouncil.gov.uk/bloom or pick up an entry form at your local library, the Town Hall or Halls Garden Centre. It is possible to nominate your favourite garden, pub, restaurant or business for their displays too. The deadline for entries is 30th June.
Judges will visit the town in July to view the town’s heritage treasures, horticultural gems and floral features including Holy Trinity Parish Church, Sutton Park, a popular allotment site, a school garden and New Hall Mill along with local shops and businesses.
More details about Bloom and the full judging route can be found on the website www.suttoncoldfieldtowncouncil.gov.uk/bloom