School Garden gets an upgrade in Coventry

After attending a careers fair in Coventry organised by the city council, the Weaver Place RG Group team met with representatives from Barr’s Hill School and began discussions about how we could engage with the pupils to give something back to the local community and also help spread the word about Careers in Construction.

After visiting the School earlier in the year, the team identified an area that would benefit from some improvement works. The courtyard garden area in ‘The Bridge’ area of the school was used by the horticulture club, but had fallen into a state of disrepair that led to the majority of the club’s time being taken for maintenance and weed clearance rather than productive gardening and cultivation.

After agreeing a design principal, construction strategy and programme of works, the RG team along with volunteers from Stephensons, Starkold, Randstad, Tier, O’Connell East Architects and our client Olympian Homes, started work by replacing broken brickwork plinths and creating raised planting beds using recycled railway sleepers previously used on site for the construction of temporary Kingpost retaining walls. We also had an excellent team of helpers from the school horticulture club that put the majority of our labourers to shame! We improved access, and new bug houses, bee bricks and insect biomes were installed along with a chicken coop.

The finished area has since been planted to the design of one of the pupils, who won the competition to design a planting and ecology scheme. We presented an award to the winner at the school’s annual awards ceremony at Coventry Cathedral.

As a thank you for the work carried out, the pupils made us 10 hanging baskets planted with flowers grown by themselves from seed, and we’ve hung the baskets around the site welfare area and outside the site.

The whole experience was designed to educate the pupils about the construction industry, and that the same basic process to plan a school garden project is fundamentally similar to the planning of a £48.5m multi-storey development.

The school is attending the site over the next year to experience the progression of a significant construction project. Hopefully we might inspire some of the pupils to consider a Career in Construction!

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