Cheney Friends are leading a campaign 'Greening Cheney' to raise funds to improve outside spaces around the school site.
This year, we are focusing on one specific area: the space “affectionately” known as “the mudpits.”
This is a large, muddy, fenced zone (divided into two sections) at the top of the main playground. The area currently comprises a stretch of bare earth with a few worn wooden benches and some trees, themselves badly in need of attention.
After conversation with staff, parents and students, Hadingham Kirk, a local landscape company, has produced a design to revitalise this area for no fee - we are grateful for their generosity.
The project has already been costed. In the first instance, we are looking for £35,000 to redesign one of the two sections. The completion of one half will stimulate interest and funding for the rest of the project.
The PTA has already raised £5000. The school has agreed that if we get to £15,000, it can provide matching funding for the rest. So we need to raise £10,000 in the next four months to enable this project to take place this academic year.
Please donate towards this project! It will create a green oasis in an area currently dominated by a large expanse of hard surface and tall buildings.
This new zone will have far-reaching benefits: it will provide a green, pleasant space for children to socialise, study and eat their lunch; for teachers to do outdoor group work; for everyone working in the school to take pleasure in their physical environment.
In a site which has lost much of its wildlife to hard surfacing and paving, this green zone will also encourage insects, birds and butterflies to return.
More information on Hadingham Kirk’s design
There is plentiful attractive wooden “platform” seating, cleverly incorporating the existing trees. This seating will be complemented by carefully chosen planting - hardy shrubs and pollinating evergreen plants - to provide colour and variety, and to bring wildlife to this new green area. The trees themselves will benefit from layers of extra topsoil and mulch to cover their exposed roots. New hedging will provide extra shade in the summer.
The design also incorporates a “food forest” - a selection of espalier fruit and nut trees as well as berry producing shrubs, encouraging students to reflect on the origins and harvesting of natural food.
With these trees - and the plants described above - we aim for the site to be as biodiverse as possible, offering opportunities for students to connect with and learn about nature.
NB: This design builds on the winning submissions from the Oxford Brookes architecture competition that was held last academic year.
If you would be keen to participate with our Greening Cheney project in any other way or have any enquiries about donations, email Flora Carnwath (Chair of Cheney PTA) email@example.com