Pupils’ planting will help Hartlepool park to thrive

Pupils from Eldon Grove Academy dig into Burn Valley.
Pupils from Eldon Grove Academy dig into Burn Valley.

A Hartlepool park will be bustling with new plants and wildlife thanks to the efforts of volunteers including dozens of schoolchildren.

Pupils from Eldon Grove Academy joined the Hartlepool Borough Council’s countryside team and the Friends of Hartlepool’s Wild Green Spaces in the Burn Valley.

Pupils from Eldon Grove Academy with the Friends of Hartlepools Wild Green Spaces, Hartlepool Countryside team and volunteers from Tesco.

Pupils from Eldon Grove Academy with the Friends of Hartlepools Wild Green Spaces, Hartlepool Countryside team and volunteers from Tesco.

A total of 60 Year 6 pupils helped to plant hundreds of shrubs and perennial plants in the Upper Burn Valley, over the course of two days.

The planting, organised by the countryside team on behalf of the friends group, will introduce a greater variety of nectar-rich flowering plants into the park.

Bosses say it will attract more insects and butterflies, improving the biodiversity of the park in addition to making it a more attractive place for people to visit.

Deborah Jefferson, countryside officer with Hartlepool council, said: “We have enjoyed two wonderful days planting in the Upper Burn Valley with a really enthusiastic group of children and volunteers, who have made such a positive improvement to the park.

They are all keen to improve the local environment and are looking forward to returning to the park to carry out similar projects in future

Deborah Jefferson, countryside officer

“They are all keen to improve the local environment and are looking forward to returning to the park to carry out similar projects in future.”

The planting is a continuation of the work being carried out as part of the Wild Green Spaces project, which ended in 2014.

The Friends of Hartlepool’s Wild Green Spaces formed at the end of the project and have continued to volunteer with the countryside team, to make improvements and fund new projects across the town’s parks and green spaces.

The scheme was funded by EDF Energy Renewables through the Teesside Offshore Community Benefit Fund, with match-funding from the Friends.

It is the second time that pupils from Eldon Grove Academy have joined the Countryside Team to improve the park.

Year 5 pupils previously planted a large bed of spring flowering bulbs and they are hoping to apply for funding to carry out a similar planting scheme this coming autumn.

Staff from Tesco Community Team also gave a helping hand and kindly provided the pupils with a well-earned drink at the end of each session.

Friends group bosses said they hope the project helped educate youngsters on the importance of the environment and maybe even inspire them to start planting in their own gardens.

Ann Brown, chairwoman of the Friends group, said: “We were delighted to join forces with Eldon Grove on this project and we hope that we have been able to pass on some of our knowledge, and have inspired the children to plant in their own gardens.

“We are keen to work with the school to raise more funds to enable us to make the park more attractive.”

Anyone interested in joining the Friends of Hartlepool’s Wild Green Spaces can call Ann on 07769 815017, or check out their Facebook page to find out more about what they do.