Cardiff Council in partnership with environmental charity Trees for Cities (TfC), has so far delivered fifteen Edible Playgrounds to schools across the city with the aim of getting children excited about growing and eating healthy food, whilst providing valuable outdoor learning resources.
Hosted by Glan-yr-Afon Primary School in Llanrumney, the project was officially launched yesterday by Cardiff Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry, alongside TfC Chief Executive, David Elliot, and Director of Grow Cardiff, Isla Horton.
They were joined by staff and pupils from the school who performed a song especially composed for the event.
Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry said: “In Cardiff we recognise the valuable benefits that green space has on the health and wellbeing of children and young people and we remain committed to promoting the use of outdoor space for learning and play.
“Through closely working with each school, TfC and the Council have been able to create bespoke playground designs, where food growing can be accessed across the entire school, encouraging healthier diets and good eating behaviours for the future.
“Through our partnership with Trees for Cities, we intend to expand the programme to include up to 40 schools across the city over the next three years. This supports us to deliver Cardiff’s One Planet Strategy, promoting a range of air quality, tree planting and holistic greening schemes to address climate change.”
Each project typically includes everything needed for the school to grow its own food successfully including raised beds, a greenhouse, compost, wormery and tool shed as well as an outdoor teaching space for an entire class.
David Elliott, Chief Executive at Trees for Cities commented, “We are extremely proud of the work that is being done across Cardiff. The enthusiasm from the schools, the hard work from delivery partners such as Grow Cardiff and the continuing support from the Council enables this programme to grow from strength to strength.”
Cllr Merry added: “Children and young people have the right to live a healthy life and our partnership with Trees for Cities 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.”
Headteacher at Glan-yr-Afon Primary School, Rhian Lundrigan said: “One of our aspirations at Glan yr Afon Primary School is to develop each child to be a healthy, confident individual, ready to lead a fulfilling life as a valued member of society. Encouraging children to eat a nutritious, balanced diet early on is important for a number of reasons and our Edible Playground will help us to educate them on healthy eating during childhood, encouraging them to make healthier choices as they become adults.
“The scheme will also enable us to help children and their families understand where their food comes from and the benefits home grown produce can have such as helping them get the right vitamins and minerals in their diet, promoting energy, development and support their ability to learn.”
Schools to have already benefited from the scheme include; Coed Glas Primary, Moorland Primary, Ysgol Y Berllan Deg, Glyncoed Primary, Ysgol Pwll Coch, Grangetown Primary School, Meadowbank Primary School, Herbert Thompson Primary School, Ysgol Glan Morfa, Ysgol Pen y Pil, The Hollies School, Ysgol Bro Eirwg, Greenway Primary School, Ysgol y Wern and Glan Yr Afon