North Yorkshire based commercial nursery Johnsons of Whixley is proud to be on board with a collaboration project between the Landscape Architecture Department at the University of Sheffield and Hunter’s Bar Infant School, Sheffield. The #GoGoGreen campaign will see 100’s of Johnsons plants used to help improve the air quality of the school’s playground.
The plant supply will include a £300 donation made by Johnsons, and a further £3,200 worth of Johnsons’ plants will be purchased to help create a green barrier in the playground.
Working with air quality experts from the Landscape Architecture Department of the University of Sheffield, the school wants to plant shrubs, herbaceous, hedging and trees to create a green barrier in the playground to help protect children from harmful gases produced by exhaust fumes; an issue that is affecting many inner-city schools.
The school has already raised £10,000 to buy plants and equipment to create the soil bed needed to build the barrier – and Johnsons have helped by donating plants for the scheme. Included in the supply are Phyllostachys nigra, Thuja occidentalis smaragd, Lavender Hidcote, Heathers in variety, Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’, Salvia off. Purpurescens, Sarcococca confusa, Bergenia cordifolia ‘purpurea’ and Juniperus virginiana ‘blue arrow’.
Working with PhD student María to monitor the air in the playground, data will be collected to enable air quality experts and specialist plant scientists to identify the best vegetation and planting configuration to improve air quality. Children will also learn the value of green spaces for learning and emotional wellbeing.
PhD researcher María del Carmen Redondo Bermúdez said: “Different plants have different capacities to reduce air pollution, depending on the characteristics of their leaves and bark and how they are arranged in space. By using a mix of plant types – trees, shrubs, climbers and herbaceous perennials – we will try to cover all the mechanisms for pollution mitigation. Planted together, they will form a barrier against the wind that brings contaminants to the playground. We chose Johnsons of Whixley because of the high quality of their plants, their recycling initiatives of plastic containers and their strict ISO standards (for example the 9001 for Quality Management and 14001 for Environmental Management), and equally important, the ethics of their team and their friendly and effective communication. Those are part of the reasons why the Landscape Department of The University of Sheffield have always considered them as a top nursery ”.
#GoGoGreen campaigners hope the project will help identify workable solutions for not only Hunter’s Bar Infant School but for other inner-city schools looking to improve air quality.
Graham Richardson, Group Managing Director at Johnson’s, said: “ We look forward to being associated with a scheme that will not only provide an immediate aesthetic impact but will also go on to improve air quality and help reduce pollution, our environmental credentials are important to us, so it’s great to be on board with this fantastic #GoGoGreen campaign ”.