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St Francis Primary School

This was a fantastic and rewarding brief to create a natural space within an nature devoid plastic grass playground.

Our concept at The Nature Effect was to create an immersive natural garden providing play, shelter and food areas to suit both the children and wildlife.

Mark Lee and his team did an incredible job in half term to build the whole garden from scratch so that when the children returned a new landscape had been created ready for the children to don their gloves and pick up their trowels.

A  permeable path that is accessible for all leads on a journey from food growing for people to eat, to a bug hotel with shelter and homes for insects. A water butt attached to a cattle trough creates a rain garden to attenuate water in heavy downpours.  The path then travels under an archway  to a wide flower bed with two of trees and pollinator rich planting. On the right of the path is a wild flower meadow with native flowers, a log seating area encircled with sweet chestnut posts.  Taller posts also support a shade and rain canopy to provide shelter come rain or shine.  Lastly to the rear is a messy play zone with a pallet tepee and an area of woodland planting.

We had a great fun planting working with the children in pairs and we were impressed with their team work how they helped each other.  For many it was the first time they had planted anything.   We designed the space to be educational, sensory and imaginative.  We have started them on their journey with muddy hands.  Let’s watch it grow and evolve.