Seven community grants have been awarded to help support communities to deliver projects providing health and wellbeing, biodiversity, sustainability, and educational benefits.
Hart District Council awarded the two largest grants to The Green Oaks Federation – made up of Oakwood Infant and Greenfields Junior School in Hartley Wintney, and Church Crookham Junior School.
The Green Oaks Federation will use their £10,000 grant to embed sustainability, learning in nature, and greening into the school and its wider curriculum. This will be achieved through the planting of trees and wildflowers by pupils around the school, including the introduction of an orchard, which will form part of an annual community harvest event.
Solar panel kits will help children monitor energy use and help them to understand renewables. Wood will be purchased to create outdoor learning areas to make seats, workstations, shelters, feeding stations for birds, hides and hedgehog homes. Plans also include buying children’s outdoor tools and building a vegetable patch for children to grow food. Items will also be purchased to start an upcycling club so that discarded furniture can be upcycled and sold or donated back to the community, reducing waste.
Church Crookham Junior School will receive £11,000 to create a sensory garden for its 500+ pupils based around the four sensory themes of air, Earth, fire and water. The aim of the garden is to provide a quiet area, where children can rest, talk to friends or spend a few minutes being mindful. It will also be used and maintained by the school Forest School groups.
Councillor David Neighbour, Leader of Hart District Council, said: “Our community grant scheme, developed by our officer team, allows Hart District Council to deliver resident focused projects that go above and beyond the council's statutory duties. By supporting these fantastic community lead initiatives, we are backing our residents' ambitions and goals, helping to really make Hart a great place to live, work and enjoy.”
The remaining five grants include £3,000 awarded to Cranford Park School in Yateley to support the development of their Forest School, which includes curriculum aids as well as outdoor equipment to make sure the children can access outdoor activities.
Four smaller £1,000 grants were awarded. Vision 4 Youth will use the grant to support gardening activities to help engage young people on their youth social prescribing programme. Hook Infant school will receive wildlife monitoring equipment to help their ‘Wild Things’ group monitor animals in their already established wildlife garden. The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Amphibian and Reptile Group (HIWARG) will be provided with a habitat management toolkit which will support them in continuing to deliver habitat management groups across the district. Finally, Mayhill Junior School in Odiham have received a £1000 contribution towards their ‘Secret Garden’.
Find out more at: hart.gov.uk/countryside-and-leisure/community-grants-scheme