Green is the colour of a Portsmouth primary school that has launched into spring with a week filled with fun gardening activities.
Youngsters at Flying Bull Primary and Nursery in Buckland are celebrating the fruits of their hard work with eight new chickens clucking away happily in the spruced-up outdoor space.
Their school grounds now boast a greenhouse made from recycled two-litre plastic bottles, a path made from wood chippings donated by local tree contractors Gristwood and Toms, a newly-planted orchard with lots of fruit trees and extra vegetables in their allotment.
Deputy head Georgina Mulhall says: ‘There has been a great buzz in the school this week. It is all incredibly exciting.
‘The nice thing is everyone has been able to achieve something really positive – even those children that sometimes struggle in the classroom.’
Boys and girls have been taking time to get to know their new feathered friends who have names including Dora, Daisy-Rocket, Brenda and Dudette.
They have been feeding the chickens, cleaning the coop and collecting eggs, which they plan to sell to raise money to buy more feed.
Reece Hughes, 11, says: ‘I like making the chicken house clean and like how it looks when new hay has been laid.’
Albie Holden, 11, adds: ‘I actually saw a chicken lay an egg and when I picked it up it was warm!’
The outdoor area will now be open to pupils’ parents and carers who helped transform it into an eco-friendly oasis.
They were supported by a team from the lottery-funded project Grow to Eat Well, who oversaw the greenhouse project and donated fruit trees for the orchard.
And Portsmouth City Council highways contractor Colas donated a new bench, which has been assembled next to the pond so that children can relax as they enjoy their new outdoor environment.
Paul Rodgerson, from Portsmouth-based paving contractors PR Groundworks, who built three raised beds so the children can garden more easily, says: ‘I am so pleased I was able to help – the enthusiasm the children have for gardening is very impressive.’
The week ended with an assembly where Colas representatives unveiled a giant canvas of children’s artwork about their outdoor space.