Help us grow Mawnan School Nature Garden!

Mawnan School Nature Garden profile

Project by Mawnan School Nature Garden

We did it
On 22nd July 2020 we successfully raised £7,410 ( + est. £1245.00 Gift Aid ) with 93 supporters in 28 days

Inspire, challenge and nurture our children through a garden oasis at our school that will teach them about nature and help them grow.

New stretch target

To raise our initial target of £2450 will be incredible. Anything over this will be beyond our expectations - and will be responsibly spent on developing the garden, according to our masterplan.  

Believe in tomorrow

‘To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow’ 


The sound of birdsong, the smell of blossom, the bursts of colourful wildflowers on the roadside - we have never appreciated the outdoors more than we have done over the past few months.  

We want to create a garden at our school where our children, and our wider village community, can feel the same inspiration, hope and joy. It will be an oasis where they can immerse themselves in the wonders of nature and enjoy the rewarding experience of gardening.

From making compost to nurturing seedlings, this garden will be a hive of hands-on activities, where you can roll up your sleeves and get stuck into the natural world.  

It will also provide a relaxing, peaceful space where children and adults can talk, read and share together, improving mental health and wellbeing as well as spreading kindness and respect across the generations. 

The coronavirus crisis has had a huge impact on our children and our community. This garden will not only bring us back together, but also help us look to the future, giving us all a vital space to grow.   

Growing and learning together 


The garden will be used for active outdoor learning, improving all aspects of the school curriculum, but particularly in areas on the environment, sustainability and food. 

Evidence shows time spent in nature reduces anxiety and increases a child's ability to function in school. The outdoors is where children can most be themselves. 

The school already has a thriving after-school Gardening Club in its existing polytunnel area and we’ve already seen first-hand how otherwise shy kids have been brought out of their shells through gardening. We’ve also seen them bursting with pride when they’ve had a table full of potatoes, rhubarb, carrots and lettuce to sell to parents at the school gates. 

With an expanded garden area, more children can learn gardening skills that will last them a lifetime, as well as experiencing the rewards of teamwork, resilience and patience.  

Including all our children

Mawnan School is extremely proud to be inclusive and welcomes children with special needs into the heart of our school family. 


This is Stanley, one of our most highly cherished pupils. Stanley has an incredibly rare, life-limiting condition called Sanfilippo Syndrome for which there is no treatment and no cure. His irrepressible energy, his cheerful waves and his very big hugs make him much loved by all the pupils at school. Digging, watering and playing alongside his friends in the school garden will mean the world to Stanley, and his classmates. They understand and accept Stanley for who he is - a precious thing that the school garden will help to nurture.   


This is Tilly, who has Down’s Syndrome and will be joining Mawnan school in September alongside her twin brother William. 


Here she is with William and their older siblings, Elizabeth and Kit. The twins are very excited to be going to the same school as their big brother and sister. Tilly may be different, but she wants to join in and be part of the gang just as much as any child does. 

The garden will be very important to children like Tilly and Stanley. For them, sitting still in a classroom is a challenge. Not only will the garden engage all their senses and provide a space for time away from the classroom, it will also be somewhere they can be equals with their friends. 

Being able to include all our children in learning and play together outdoors will help our entire school community thrive. 

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. It also has an Open the Book team, who share bible stories every week.

The garden will be used as a space for reading with volunteers and will also 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.

What the garden will look like 

Currently an unused patch of grass at the edge of the playing field, the plot will be transformed into a beautiful natural retreat full of wildlife, trees and plants.


The existing polytunnel already allows for a host of fruit, veg and flower growing. With additional raised beds, borders of herbal healing plants, an edible hedge and composting bays, children can learn all about organic, sustainable gardening.


1592817103_boardwalk2.jpgPart of the site will be a watery bog garden with a rotting pile of logs for wildlife to make a home in. Running through it will be a boarded walkway so the children can see and hear what’s living there up close. An area of meadow grass with traditional Cornish orchard trees will have paths mown through it to provide a place for exploration and play. The garden as a whole will be full of pollinators and insects. Children will also record the wildlife they see in the garden throughout the seasons, witnessing first-hand how natural environments can be improved.

Through the use of espaliered fruit and plane trees the garden will also provide a quiet, sheltered space where children, staff and volunteers can sit, read and enjoy the sensory experience of being in a garden.


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 gravel paths will make the garden usable throughout the year, whatever the weather. 

The pathways will also be very smooth and wheelchair-friendly, meaning those less physically able will be able to join in.

The garden will use sustainable, organic practices, using compost made on-site and recyclable materials wherever possible. 

How your money will be spent 

We know that this has been a difficult time for many people and businesses, and we are grateful of anything you can give to this project - even a 'like' on social media could go a long way.  The money raised will go directly towards the garden’s landscaping, 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, £25 an oak sleeper for raised beds, £50 would buy 5m of long lasting metal path edging, £100 a semi-mature espaliered apple tree, £150 a solid oak bench. 

We’ve already had some incredible donations - 12 tonnes of hardcore and aggregate from one of our school granddads, Nick Ferris. And from further afield, we’ve had a donation of 25m of slate paving slabs from London Stone

Anyone wishing to donate materials or skilled labour, please contact Zinnia directly on [email protected]

A small school with a big heart

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

We have really missed not being at school this past few months - we miss our friends, our teachers, and everyone who helps out at the school. Our teachers made this funny video to cheer us up during lockdown - it made us and our parents laugh when we needed it most. 

Help us continue to laugh, share and enjoy our childhood in a school garden designed to challenge us and inspire us to grow. 

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



This project offers rewards in return for your donation

£5 or more

A packet of insect loving wildflower seeds

We will send you a packet of the most bee-friendly, insect loving seeds you can get - so you too can get closer to the sounds of nature.

£20 or more

A pot of garlic chives

A pot of chives for your garden. Watch the bees buzzing around the pretty pink flowers in late spring; use the flowers and leaves to add flavour to your cooking. A herb garden winner.

£30 or more

3 of 20 claimed

Jar of homemade tomato relish

A jar of tomato relish, made by our chef mum Christie - with tomatoes grown in our own polytunnel. First come first served basis - snap up a jar quickly!

£75 or more

Garden Party 2021

An invitation to the grand opening of our garden in June 2021. Come and enjoy a glass of Cornish champagne in our new garden and see what a difference your donation has made.

£100 or more

Become a Friend of the Garden / Garden Party 2021

Become a Friend of Mawnan School Nature Garden. Come and see your name on a plaque at the grand opening of our garden in June 2021. Enjoy a glass of Cornish champagne in our new garden and see what a difference your donation has made.

£150 or more

0 of 7 claimed

Standard apple tree

A traditional Cornish standard apple tree, grafted by the National Trust and grown on in a 5.5L pot (tree is approx 1m off the ground). Tree is collection only, from Mawnan School.

£200 or more

A garden consultation with Zinnia Swanzy

Offered within a 25 mile radius of Mawnan Smith, Zinnia is a qualified Garden Designer and will give as much advice as needed in your garden, with a follow up report after.

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