In 2022, Ground Control began an educating partnership at Pinner Park Primary School in Middlesex, starting with ‘The Big Dig’ and planting micro forests. In May 2024, we returned to the school to inspire a new generation of children.

Sporting wellies and raincoats, pupils embraced the soil, mud, and manure to plant 300 new plugs into their flourishing wildflower meadow; bed in their self-grown vegetables to a new outside patch; pick up litter in their local park; and learn more about the biodiverse haven they enjoy daily, on a guided nature walk.

Pinner Park pupils collecting litter at Headstone Manor Park

On 22nd May 2024, the day began with Year 2 pupils heading across the road to support the Friends of Headstone Manor Park with a litter-picking activity in the park, as part of their Green Flag inspection. The site, Headstone Manor Park, is also a BALI principal award-winning project for ‘Nature Conservation & Biodiversity Enhancement.

Back at Pinner Park Primary School, Ground Control volunteers and landscaping experts revisited a planting project that began in 2022, when the company provided native trees, saplings, and hedgerows to the school. These were planted on-site to create food, homes, and shelter for nature. This time, the volunteers enjoyed the flourishing habitats with some new pupils, enabling them to contribute to the flowering meadow and edible garden, while inspiring the children to nurture their surroundings to encourage nature to thrive.

Pupils from reception, year one, year two and year six collectively planted 300 wildflower plugs, comprising a mixture of oxeye daisy, foxglove, and buttercup. Treading carefully, they found a spot and dug a hole for their plants, complementing the already flourishing wildflower meadow patch on their school field. 

Pinner Park Reception pupils planting wildflower

In the afternoon, the pupils planted their vegetables (which started life in pots on their classroom windows) in a dedicated patch created by Ground Control that morning. The patch was created in response to the positive reception of the orchard trees planted previously, and the school's ambition to establish an allotment on site in the future. The edible shrubs planted included beetroot, lettuce, beans, carrots, and strawberries.

Vegetable planting and Pinner Park Primary School

As environmental experts, Ground Control also led a group of year six pupils around a biodiversity walk where they discovered that their school site is a rich haven for supporting urban biodiversity in many ways. The tour included a visit to 'BEE the Change', an urban garden and Silver Gilt Award Winning Chelsea Flower Show exhibit donated to the school in 2023. The garden now provides a welcoming presence outside the main school entrance and a haven for nature and biodiversity. Comprising native wildflower plant species and a bug hotel, carefully designed within the illustrative sign, the installation shows how biodiversity can be achieved in the smallest urban spaces.

 Bee the change urban garden

The tour proceeded with a walk-through of natural woodland on the school’s site where timber had been recycled into outdoor furniture and habitat piles for the children and local wildlife to enjoy together. Adjacent to the natural woodland is the mico-forest planted in 2023 that's already starting to establish itself as a lush, woodland habitat designed for long-term nature recovery and carbon sequestration.

Pinner Park Micro Forest 2024

Brian Smith, Sales and Marketing Director at Ground Control commented:

Ground Control has been a firm friend of this pioneering primary school, since joining forces in 2022 to create a natural habitat for biodiversity at the school grounds in an initiative named by the school as ‘The Big Dig’.  
Every pupil was involved in planting 150m of native hedgerow, a micro-forest, fruit trees, or a section of wildflower meadow. The project was always intended to be part of a wider biodiversity plan and it’s wonderful to see this playing out, with the trees and shrubs maturing substantially one year on.
Many thanks to Pinner Park Primary School for having us back; and to the Friends of Headstone Manor Park, for facilitating the litter picking. We loved working with the pupils and seeing them continue to embrace and care for their environment, even on a wet, muddy Wednesday.
The pupils and staff show a real hunger for and commitment to maximising the site’s potential, evidenced by the vegetable patch edition to the edible garden, and the extension of the flourishing wildflower meadow.
It was wonderful to see and be part of the inception and development of this.

Pinner Park Primary School

Inviting nature back to Pinner Park Primary School, and raising biodiversity awareness with hands-on experiences
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