School’s project wrecked in gales

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Pupils at Astley Park School in Harrington Road arrived at school on Thursday to find their greenhouse, which was used for growing seeds and plants, had been blown completely over by the strong winds.

Environmental co-ordinator Gill Broughton said: “The children are so upset.

“We do a lot with our outdoor areas where we teach children to pot and they grow things to cook in school.

“At this time of the year it’s the green house where you’re putting all your seedlings.

“I have no idea what we are going to do now.”

The school teaches 120 children aged four to 16 with learning difficulties and the plastic greenhouse was specially equipped to deal with their needs.

They had started planting things like peas and cuttings from plants, which have now been left strewn over nearby Astley Park.

Ms Broughton said: “We can’t have glass greenhouse with rough edges for our children in case they hurt themselves.

“We have a polytunnel on the grass but the greenhouse was really important for our wheelchair users, who can’t get onto the grass.

“It’s affected the people that need this the most really.”

Headteacher Kieran Welsh said: “We thought with the wind blowing like that we might have some problems so we were holding our breath,

“We do an awful lot in the greenhouse and the children love it.

“It’s important that we give them those life skills.

“We have been doing a project recently where parents work with their child after school to grow their own food.

“The project has been great so this is a real blow.”

The school now face a bill of around £300 for a new greenhouse, which they admit they may not be able to afford.

Mr Welsh said: “We will have to start saving up for a new one, but at the moment all of our money is going on a new orchard to mark the Queen’s Jubilee.

“A new greenhouse will cost about £300, so we don’t know what we will do.”