GREEN-FINGERED students have come up with the perfect way to protect the planet and counter the cost of living crisis.
The eco club at Gurney Pease Academy, Darlington, has created a greenhouse out of 800 plastic bottles and is already enjoying the fruits of their labours.
Strawberries, potatoes, tomatoes and sweet peppers are heading straight to the school kitchens to be enjoyed by pupils and staff thanks to STEM students who are striving to reduce, reuse and recycle.
Teacher David Ferrari said: “The children helped collect the bottles, attach them to a timber frame and create something that will last forever – and we can even extend it.
“Because this was once an industrial area the soil is poor quality so we have used raised beds which are working really well. As it is just 20m from the greenhouse to the school kitchens we are also reducing the carbon footprint of food production. It is amazing how much the children enjoy what we grow.”
Harry Kempley, 10, said: “ They taste so much better than shop-bought. They have more flavour and are amazing.”
The school was runner up in the recent national Go Green Award and collected prizemoney of £100 which will be used to buy a rain trap water butt to make watering the plants much easier.
Millie Taylor, nine, said: “We do all the watering and that will make it much easier as the tap is a long way away and the water is really heavy.”
Next on the gardening agenda will be learning how to compost and they also plan to create a wildlife pond.
Mr Ferrari said: “We are surrounded by houses and industrial units but there is nature around which needs all the help it can get.
“We want the community to appreciate how you can grow food for pennies and reduce the impact on the environment.”