Before heading off to university, former students, Gareth Lewis and Ciara Beale, recently visited St Bart’s, to view the ground breaking project that is their legacy, a living wall. As Head Boy and Head Girl the pair have brought the idea, picked by the School Officer’s following a full school survey, to life. With school strikes against climate change prominent in the headlines they wanted to pick an endeavour with environmental impact.
Installed in the Hub area, which all students access, the living wall stands almost 4m tall and 2.5 wide on the south wall.
The Living Wall is bedded with plants such as campanula, fern and pulmonaria. Funding was provided for the wall after Gareth and Ciara pitched their ideas to the St Bartholomew’s Trust Fund. The key benefits they articulated were that greenery contributes to a healthy indoor climate, enhanced concentration and has positive benefits to mental health and stress relief. Their pitch included details of companies specialising in living walls and associated costs.
Gareth, who will start studying history at Manchester University and Ciara, who will soon take up a place to study German and English at Oxford University are thrilled with the results. They hope that funds might be found to extend the project to other areas of the Hub in time.
Co-headteacher, David Fitter, said, “the living wall is a brilliant addition to the school and has drawn many positive comments already. It complements our recent drives to be more eco-friendly as a school and looks fantastic. It is a great example of the positive impact that students can have in enhancing the school for the whole community.”