Westfield Infant and Nursery School students with equipment their Green Community Grant funded

Pictured are Westfield Infant and Nursery School students with equipment their Green Community Grant funded. 

Breckland Council has awarded green grants to two Watton schools to help them get their gardening projects underway.

Watton Junior School and Watton Westfield Infants and Nursery School both made applications to Breckland Council’s Green Community Grants fund, which was set up to support communities and Breckland groups to promote environmental sustainability and create positive behavioural change in response to climate change.

The fund also supports school projects which encourage pupils to take action for the environment. The fund was open to applications last year and saw almost £100,000 shared between 30 projects.

The Young Carers at Watton Junior School were awarded £500. This student group wanted to start a small garden in which they would like to grow their own vegetables. The goal of the project is to learn about sustainable planting and to sell the produce when the garden has been established to finance its continued upkeep.

Watton Westfield Infant and Nursery School was awarded £3,000 and the picture shows Westfield Infant and Nursery School students with equipment their Green Community Grant funded. This project aimed to make significant improvements to the school’s allotment, to make it possible to grow food for consumption on-site and in the local community. The allotment will be used to educate children at the school on living a more sustainable life by teaching them how to grow their own food, how to compost and how to recycle.

Helen Kemp, Executive Headteacher at both schools, said: “We would like to thank Breckland Council for supporting us with these grants, as they are providing fantastic opportunities for our children at Westfield Infant and Nursery School and Watton Junior School. The two schools will be working together to develop children’s knowledge about environmental sustainability. We have purchased a polytunnel large enough for a whole class to work inside so children can learn grow their own food all year round. We have also purchased a 50m hose on a reel and gardening tools. The Young Carers group at the Junior school meet weekly and tend our small garden area and would always welcome donations of plants for the area and children at Westfield would love seeds to grow in the polytunnel.”

Cllr Ian Sherwood, Breckland Council’s Executive Member for People, Communications and Governance, said: “As Breckland Council’s lead for sustainability, I really enjoyed reading through the wide variety of applications to our Green Community Grants fund. Now I get to see young people who care about the environment getting involved and taking projects from applications on paper to spades in the ground, and it’s fantastic!”

The Green Community Grants fund forms part of Breckland Council’s broader commitment to the environment and becoming NetZero as an organisation by 2035. Commitments made as part of the Breckland 2035 Sustainability Strategy include increasing the number of electric vehicle charging points across the district, protecting and increasing tree canopy, reducing the impact of the council’s buildings and employees on emissions levels, and empowering Breckland’s communities to take action for themselves.