Mawnan School Nature Garden

by Mawnan School Nature Garden in Mawnan Smith, England, United Kingdom

£2,070

raised in 165 days

+ est. £193.25 Gift Aid

23

supporters

Help us reach our final target so we can create a school garden that nurtures nature and our children

by Mawnan School Nature Garden in Mawnan Smith, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

Every penny will be spent wisely, helping us to realise the project to the highest specification.  If we are fortunate enough to go over our target, we will be able to plant more trees around the school grounds.


Believe in tomorrow

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To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow. Help us create a garden at our school where our children, and our wider village community, can take action to protect the natural world, investing in a better tomorrow for us all. 

We have raised an incredible £17,000 of our total project cost of £20,500 - we need to reach our goal to transform a patch of grass on our school field into a haven for wildlife, biodiversity and environmental gains. From making compost to nurturing seedlings, this garden will be a hive of hands-on organic gardening activity. 

The sound of birdsong, the shade of trees, the smell of wildflowers - this garden will let our children experience nature firsthand, helping them become guardians of its future.   

Tackling our climate emergency 

In November 2019 Mawnan School declared a climate emergency along with many other schools in Cornwall. 

We promised to turn our words into actions on climate change by following the Green Charter for Schools. This means we are committed to teaching our young people to be environmentally literate and to develop their knowledge, skills and confidence to put what they learn into practice in their community.

Part of the Green Charter was a promise to develop the school grounds to promote engagement with nature, biodiversity and growing food.

Our wildlife-friendly nature garden will reduce the school’s carbon footprint, provide biodiversity gains for the area and educate children about climate change.

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Growing and learning together

The garden will be used for active outdoor learning and to improve all aspects of the school curriculum, but particularly in areas on the environment, climate, natural sciences and sustainable growing practices. 

The school already has a thriving after-school Gardening Club in its existing polytunnel area, during which we’ve seen kids burst with pride with a table full of potatoes, carrots and lettuce to sell, grown from seeds they planted themselves. 

The garden will use organic practices for sustainable food growing, with zero use of insecticides. All fruit and vegetable waste from the children’s snacks will be collected and composted on site. Rainwater butts will reduce mains water usage. Seed collection will be central to understanding the provenance of homegrown food.

Knowledge and skills gained in this garden will last a lifetime, encouraging children to make sustainable choices and behavioural changes outside the school gates. 

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Carbon footprint

Currently an unused, bleak monoculture of grass at the edge of a playing field, the plot will be transformed into a haven for varied plantlife and wildlife. 

Planting schemes will provide a rich and varied habitat as well as increased plant biomass that will bring environmental benefits to the school and the wider village community of Mawnan Smith.

The existing polytunnel on site already allows for a host of fruit, veg and flower growing. Additional raised growing beds, borders of herbal plants, and an edible hedge will increase the area’s carbon sequestration and help reduce the school’s carbon footprint.

The design includes a bog garden, with a rotting log pile that will provide a habitat for a variety of species, as well as log walls along the edge of the garden that make ideal homes for insects and minibeasts. 

Children will record and monitor wildlife populations they see throughout the seasons, documenting the ongoing improvements of biodiversity in the area. They will also record and monitor weather patterns, essential for understanding climate change. 

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Trees and hedges

We are promoting the removal of carbon from the atmosphere by planting 15 semi-mature native tree species in the garden, including field maple and hawthorn. 

Our plans include an area of meadow grass where traditional Cornish orchard trees will be planted to attract pollinators. 

At least 20m of native hedgerow will be planted, with native standard trees planted within.

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It takes a village

The school already enjoys very strong connections with our village community through our church and regular visits from the Women’s Institute and other volunteers who help children with their reading. 

The garden will be available to the wider community, including the village’s allotment society, the Women’s Institute, residents from the village care home, local Beavers, Brownies and Scouts groups. The village Preschool will also be invited to participate in activities.

Sessions will be run by volunteers on a timetable through the week.

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Built to last

This garden is being built to withstand practical enjoyment over the long term. It rains a lot in our part of the world - so resin-bound, free draining, gravel paths will make the garden usable throughout the year, whatever the weather. 

The money raised here will go directly towards the garden’s planting and tree budget, which has been designed and costed carefully by Zinnia, a mum at the school and a landscape architect. 

Every donation will be gratefully received, every penny spent wisely. A donation of £5 would buy a perennial herb which would have a lasting impact on the garden.

£10 would buy a wildlife-friendly shrub,  £100 a semi-mature espaliered apple tree.

A small school with a big heart

As we hope you can see, we are a friendly, happy, close-knit school community whose values are perseverance, hope, trust, respect, peace and compassion. We also love having fun outdoors! 

We have really missed not being at school this year - we miss our friends, our teachers, and everyone who helps out at the school. 

Help us build a garden designed to inspire us about nature, helping us all to grow. 

“The love of gardening is a seed that once sown never dies”

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Our project was recently endorsed by Professor Alistair Griffiths, Director of Science and Collections at the RHS

“Fabulous project :) There is an increasing body of scientific evidence showing that connecting children and people with plants and nature through growing is essential for their mental and physical health. 

There are very few, if any, other activities that can achieve all of the things that growing plants can – in particular, the measurable impact on active lifestyles and mental wellbeing. Keep up the great work.”

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 We hope that you can help us reach our goal! Thank you for reading.

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