Hartlepool primary school celebrates transformation with new nature area

Green fingers! Pupils enjoying the improved outdoor area at St Cuthbert's Primary School in Hartlepool.
Picture by Jane Coltman
Green fingers! Pupils enjoying the improved outdoor area at St Cuthbert's Primary School in Hartlepool. Picture by Jane Coltman

A new development at a Hartlepool primary school will help young children to learn and have fun outdoors.

St Cuthbert’s RC Primary School, in Stratford Road, has celebrated the completion of the exciting new area for pupils in its nursery and reception year.

Hartlepool Mayor, councillor Rob Cook, with pupils in the improved outdoor area at St Cuthbert's Primary School.
Picture by Jane Coltman

Hartlepool Mayor, councillor Rob Cook, with pupils in the improved outdoor area at St Cuthbert's Primary School. Picture by Jane Coltman

It includes a garden area, mud kitchen for messy fun, stage for role play and a hobbit house hidey-hole with round door just like Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings stories.

Headteacher Joanne Wilson said: “We are really pleased with it. Before we just had a concrete area.

“We put a lot of activities on but it wasn’t anything built into the land.

“This has given us the opportunity to really develop something where our children can grow with it and it can grow with them.”

We are really pleased with it. Before we just had a concrete area.

Headteacher Joanne Wilson

The area was designed by architect Steve Wilkie, the man behind Rossmere Primary School’s forest project.

It was completed in around eight weeks thanks to funding from the local authority.

The work was done by town company Dawson Landscapes.

Mrs Wilson added: “We wanted to give the children the opportunity to be in an environment that is a little bit more outdoors based as we don’t have a school field that is easily accessible.”

Enjoying a read in the Hobbit Hole at St Cuthbert's Primary School in Hartlepool.
Picture by Jane Coltman

Enjoying a read in the Hobbit Hole at St Cuthbert's Primary School in Hartlepool. Picture by Jane Coltman

Youngsters have already formed a gardening club who will plant and look after wildlife in the garden area.

It also features a small bike track and tunnel linking various parts of the outdoor area which is on different levels.

Mrs Wilson added: “It is a really creative area. There is a writing board in the middle with chalk and white boards.

“We have also bought plenty of wallies and macs so that the area is not just used in good weather but also if it is wet as well.”

Balancing on the stepping stones - pupils enjoying the improved outdoor area at St Cuthbert's Primary School in Hartlepool.
Picture by Jane Coltman

Balancing on the stepping stones - pupils enjoying the improved outdoor area at St Cuthbert's Primary School in Hartlepool. Picture by Jane Coltman

St Cuthbert’s already has a rooftop garden for its older children.

Pupils enjoying the improved outdoor area at St Cuthbert's Primary School in Hartlepool.
Picture by Jane Coltman

Pupils enjoying the improved outdoor area at St Cuthbert's Primary School in Hartlepool. Picture by Jane Coltman

Pupils enjoying the improved outdoor area at St Cuthbert's Primary School in Hartlepool.
Picture by Jane Coltman

Pupils enjoying the improved outdoor area at St Cuthbert's Primary School in Hartlepool. Picture by Jane Coltman