Environmental charity Trees for Cities (TfC) and Cardiff Council are working in partnership to deliver ten new Edible Playgrounds across Cardiff’s primary schools in 2021-22. The programme is an innovative programme that transforms school grounds into vibrant outdoor fruit and vegetable gardens that get children excited about growing and eating healthy food, providing a valuable resource for outdoor learning.
Trees for Cities works closely with the school to create a bespoke playground design where food growing can be accessed across the entire school. The projects typically include everything needed to grow your own food successfully: raised beds, a greenhouse, compost, wormery, tool shed as well as an outdoor teaching space for an entire class.
Each project is delivered so that it meets the requirements of the new Welsh Curriculum. With support and guidance from Trees for Cities, and the engagement activities being delivered by Grow Cardiff, schools will see how their Edible Playground enables them to deliver outdoor lessons that cover the 6 Areas of Learning and Experience (AoLE) strands outlined in the new Welsh Curriculum.
Cardiff Council invited schools to take part in the programme and Trees for Cities were able to select the final ten schools based on a number of criteria including the school’s playground site suitability. The final ten projects selected for 2021-22 are:
1. Grangetown Primary School
2. The Hollies School
3. Ysgol Bro Eirwg
4. Meadowbank School
5. Herbert Thompson Primary School
6. Ysgol Glan Morfa
7. Ysgol Pen y Pil
8. Trowbridge Primary School
9. Greenway Primary School
10. Glan Yr Afon
Design work has already begun in seven of our projects, with the first build already completed.
David Elliott, Chief Executive at Trees for Cities commented, ‘We are delighted to be working in partnership with Cardiff Council to design and deliver a range of exciting and inspiring food growing projects to Cardiff schools. This initiative will allow pupils to benefit from greener spaces in their playgrounds, access more outdoor lessons and understand in greater depth about where their food comes from.’
Since Trees for Cities began working in Cardiff, we have delivered five projects, with the first to complete at Moorlands Primary School in 2019. The charity has delivered over 180 Edible Playground projects across 14 UK cities since 2005 when the programme began.
Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry said: “In Cardiff, we are committed to promoting the use of outdoor space for learning and play for children. We also recognise the wealth of benefits that green space has on the health and wellbeing of our youngest citizens. This is part of our agenda for a “greener” Cardiff as well as encouraging healthier diets.’
“I am delighted that Cardiff Council and Trees for Cities are working in partnership, to successfully to promote green spaces across the Welsh capital. Children and young people have the right to live a healthy life, and this project further supports Cardiff’s ambition of becoming a UNICEF UK Child Friendly city, where the voices and views of children are at the heart of everything we do.”
Some feedback from past projects in Cardiff include Stephen Darker, a teacher at Coed Glas who stated, “the programme is enabling us to reach out to our community, for example we are working with the Wales Housing Association to consider intergenerational and community projects as part of this programme.”
Trees for Cities and Cardiff Council are looking to expand the programme for another three years to include a further 30-40 school projects, including a range of air quality, tree planting and holistic greening projects from 2022. This would include extensive collaboration with schools and local community groups to support Cardiff in helping deliver its Cardiff 2030 Vision and Trees for Cities to becoming the national lead for transforming urban school grounds into leafy green oases for children’s health and wellbeing.