Space for green areas within urban landscapes can be limited, so when we were given the chance to help green-fingered students bring their space-saving garden to life we jumped at the chance.
Timberplay Scotland along with other partners have sponsored a vertical and edible garden for students at Busby Primary School in East Refrewshire.
Designed by Landscape Architect, Catalan Marc Grenen, who has experience of producing similar gardens for schools in Barcelona, the garden features edible plants including strawberries and herbs.
The garden also contains wildflowers to help support rare local butterflies. It has been produced to not only teach the students how to grow their own plants, but also how to look after and maintain it.
Urban greening research scientist and enthusiast Dr Lynette Robertson was instrumental in bringing the initiative to Busby Primary. Dr Robertson explained the benefits of the project; “Vertical gardens are a great way to liven up school grounds in urban areas with limited green space.
“They help provide much-needed opportunities for pupils to connect with nature, which has been shown to be beneficial for student learning, and health and wellbeing.
“The importance of environmental education in schools is increasingly recognised, and this project aims to combine outdoor learning with messages on healthy eating.”
The installation was made possible with funding provided by Timberplay Scotland along with the Nineveh Charitable Trust, Ernest Cook Trust, Tesco Bags of Help.
Initial development of the project was funded through the Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) Ideas Fund, which was created to inspire innovative environmental projects, with Dr Robertson winning the £5,000 prize at the CSGN Forum in 2016.
Mark Grimshaw from Timberplay Scotland said: “It was a pleasure to be able to support this wonderful project. Being able to provide young people with the opportunity to learn about the outdoors and teach them how to create their own green space in such a small area is fantastic.
“It would be great to see this pilot scheme being rolled out across other schools across Scotland and the rest of the UK.”
Photos by Alex Patience