Year 5 students at Rushmore Primary School in Hackney, London explored their new green space for the first time, concluding the Wild City 2023 programme. Students designed the green space, and with the Salters’ Institute and Edible Landscapes London made their green space into a reality.
The project was the final stage of the Wild City programme from the Salters’ Institute. Wild City is a free science-based project that brings to life science and biodiversity for Year 5 students based in London. This five-month project sees students work with experts, the Salters’ Institute and Edible Landscapes London to explore the importance of green spaces in their lives and local communities.
Before this final stage, 105 Year 5 students at seven schools had taken part in activities to learn about biodiversity, and students at four schools then used their new knowledge to design green spaces at their school. Rushmore’s design was chosen to be built based on their design.
The Rushmore students took part in Build Days to create their green space. During these sessions, students discovered what plants had been chosen, the benefits of the specific plants, and planted, labelled, and watered different bedding areas. The students’ design featured self-watering raised bed boxes; accessible flower beds for wheelchair users; edible flower beds that included plants like mint, fennel, and liquorice; and a selection of pollinator plants such as lavender.
After the build was complete, the Year 5 students, head teacher and assistant head teacher attended the big reveal of their new green space where they were able to explore the space for the first time. Councillor for Hackney Ian Rathbone was also in attendance for the reveal.
From our Programmes Manager (Public Programmes), Sheila:
The transformation of the space from its original form to what the students designed through the space that was there before. It is now a space where young people want to enjoy — to feel calm — surrounded by this natural oasis in an urban setting. It is a place where nature is now staking its claim with butterflies visiting the area and tadpoles and newts using the pond. These young people are now passionate about nurturing and championing biodiversity in their lives and about sharing the messages they learnt throughout Wild City. The students’ commitment to biodiversity will only grow as they continue to look after and develop their knowledge through outdoor learning in this wonderful space they created.
We want to thank all the students and teachers who participated in the Wild City 2023 programme. We would also like to thank Dominic Scriven for bringing this enlightening experience to our participating students and Edible Landscapes London for their knowledge, time and expertise.