A NURSERY has been awarded £4,000 to refurbish a garden which has become damaged over the harsh winter.
Portchester Community School plans to use the cash from Fareham Borough Council to install a huge new safety play surface for games and other outdoor activities.
Headteacher Roger Matthews said: 'I was sceptical in this difficult time if we would be able to afford to do it.
'It is absolutely wonderful that the money is being made available because it's making it possible now.'
The school applied for funding as its nursery garden was ravaged by snow and frost over the winter period which made it dusty when dry and slippery and muddy when wet.
'It's a rubber soft play surface which is going in,' said Mr Matthews. 'The youngsters go and play in the area outside which deteriorates very rapidly over the winter months when the grass is growing.
'They go out in their wellies and waterproof suits and get covered in mud. They probably quite like getting dirty but it's not appropriate.
'Having an all-weather surface for them to be playing in is a huge development for the provision we have here.'
The school also wants to put in planting troughs for the children to use to grow fruit, vegetables and plants.
'There is an educational programme which runs in the nursery,' added Mr Matthews.
'That is a wonderful opportunity for hands-on direct learning. We are absolutely delighted. It's very important that we do have facilities that are fit for purpose.
'The provision we have here is outstanding, from the last Ofsted report. It really completes the quality of the provision.'
St Paul's under-fives, a new parent and toddler group in St Paul's Church, Sarisbury Green, has also been awarded 500 towards the costs of tables, chairs and interlocking safety mats.
Council leader Sean Woodward said: 'I am pleased that the council has been able to support two local groups with a grant from the Community Fund.'