Bothal Primary School has recently purchased a poly-tunnel to support their work with green-fingered schoolchildren.

The poly-tunnel was purchased with support from Ashington Town Council and Bothal Ward Councillor Lynne Grimshaw.

The poly-tunnel provides an outdoor classroom for the school in which the children are now thriving. Within the tunnel there are raised beds, made from timber sleepers, where the children are learning to grow flowers as well as healthy and nutritious food.  The tunnel has its own timed, environment friendly, irrigation system which means that the crop is always watered no matter what time of day.  

As part of the project the school has also revamped its existing wildlife pond, next to the tunnel, and created decking so the children can learn safely about local wildlife.  A sensory garden, with full wheelchair access, has also been created so that every pupil can enjoy and learn from the space.

Paul Mordue, who has led the project at the school, said ‘The whole idea of the space is to get the children learning outside of the classroom. It educates them about local wildlife as well as how food and plants are grown.  We are setting up a programme where food will be taken direct to the school kitchen and used in our daily menu so the children can see where it comes from and how it contributes to a healthy and nutritious diet.  As a school we want to inspire the children to have a healthy diet and lifestyle’.

Councillor Lynne Grimshaw added ‘We are delighted to support this excellent project which will support out of school learning as well as assisting in a number of subject areas within the curriculum. The project will bring a lot of benefits by encouraging the children to be active, take an interest in local wildlife as well as developing a healthy lifestyle which hopefully they can take into later life’.     

In the picture with the children are Mr Andy Roberts, Headmaster (far left), teaching staff and Ashington Councillors Brian Gallacher, Stephen Fenwick, Victor Bridges (Civic Head), Lynne Grimshaw and Matthew Cuthbert with Mr Paul Mordue (far right).

To further underline the schools green credentials they have a project that takes the children to the beach, at Newbiggin by the Sea, to collect plastic off the shoreline and, over the past year, they have collected over 80 bags of rubbish.  The school are also planning to develop a mini orchard as well as homes for bees and butterflies. 

Bothal Primary School are certainly doing their bit to protect and improve the environment as well as the health and well-being of the children in their care.