Knutton St Mary’s celebrates new school wildlife garden

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12 Oct 2009
Children at Knutton St Mary’s primary school in Newcastle have created a new wildlife and sensory garden, helped by funding from the BBC and the Big Lottery, and the efforts of parents, teachers and local community volunteers.

Newcastle’s MP Paul Farrelly was one of the guests invited to the celebration by head teacher Janet Fletcher and the children to the celebration, which was also joined by Premier League football club Stoke City’s popular Pottermus mascot.

Highlights of the day included the unveiling of a new mosaic by local ceramic artist Phillip Hardaker, as well as an exhibition of ‘majestic owls’, story-telling and the creation by the children of  pieces of ‘willow art’.

‘Knutton St Marys is a fabulous local school and I was delighted to go along for no less than the fourth time over the past couple of years to celebrate yet another great achievement by the children, staff, parents and governors,’ said Paul.

‘As well as this enjoyable day, I have been able to witness the start of the wildlife and play area at the front of the school and impressive vegetable garden on the playing fields at the back, as well as joining the children on an architectural tour of the award-winning restoration of traditional terraced housing in the village itself.’

‘None of this would have been possible without the dedication of the head teacher, staff and other local volunteers and they deserve all our gratitude for their efforts.’

Children from the school are also due to visit Paul in parliament in November for a tour of the House of Commons and to see other sights in London.

The new mosaic was funded by the BBC’s ‘Breathing Spaces’ fund and the school has also been successful in getting grants from the Lottery, the local Neighbourhood Management Initiative and regeneration agency Renew North Staffordshire.

The school’s latest initiative follows the establishment also of the Lottery-winning Knutton Village Farm in the area, as well as restoration of the village housing and the ongoing efforts of the Sure Start children’s centre in Knutton for the local community.

For more information on Knutton St Mary’s CE (vc) Primary School, see the school’s new website at:

Picture above left: Paul with pupils and head teacher Janet Fletcher in front of the new mosaic at the school’s wildlife and sensory garden