Royal Parks award-winning garden opens

Pupils of a Battersea primary school will see their dream wildlife garden made reality when they return after the summer break this week.

Christ Church CofE Primary School won the Grand Bug Designs competition, launched by The Royal Parks’ Mission: Invertebrate project. The competition challenged London school children to imagine how their school playgrounds could be transformed into havens for insects and other invertebrates.

Features designed by the children have been installed as part of their prize, including a wildflower meadow, orchard, climbing plants, a solitary bee nest box and a bug hotel, which the students helped to build.

Chelsea RHS Gold Medal winning garden designer Cleve West, helped pupils plan how they would extend the existing garden areas across the school grounds. Pupils fundraised thousands of pounds to bring the designs to life, securing donations including £30,000 from the Mayor of London’s Crowdfund London programme and £10,000 from The Big Local SW11.

Alongside the new wildlife elements of the garden, additional features include a puppet theatre designed and built by sculptor, Johnny Woodford.

West said: "Working with pupils, teachers and everyone involved in making this garden has been an inspiration.  Gardens are a great resource for outdoor learning on many levels and provide children with an important understanding of, and respect for, nature, life and everything that sustains us. All schools should have one."

Funded with support of players of People’s Postcode Lottery, Mission: Invertebrate aims to help invertebrates in the Royal Parks.

Project manager Alice Laughton said: "It’s been wonderful to be able to help bring Christ Church pupils’ designs to life and create an invertebrate paradise right in the heart of Battersea. London’s school playgrounds and gardens can support a fantastic variety of insects and plants – every log pile, raised bed, or window box of plants contributes towards our city’s biodiversity."

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