Thanks for the interesting debate on this already. All valid points and ones which, of course, we have discussed at length amongst ourselves.
Yes it is expensive. The grant would cover the cost of the pre-grown panels (a shocking approx. 87m worth of them, to screen the whole border!) and the installation and maintenance thereof (to insure longevity). The expense lies in the fact that these are already approx. 2m high mature ivy plants, which have been pre-grown in a nursery and will simply be fitted in place.
The fence we need to screen is directly where the children play so we struggle to grow any new saplings (believe me, we've tried) because of flying footballs etc from the playing children. Also, hedges, newly planted ivy etc etc take years to grow and are very delicate initially. Parents are more than happy to support a project they know they will benefit from immediately. A pre-grown ivy screen can make as much as a 40% reduction in nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter as soon as it is installed (e.g the day after fitting!) and the benefits continue as it thickens.
Goose Green has been amazing at green initiatives over the years (as Coach Beth has so eloquently put) and these are all making a difference. This grant would come from a private company, as also mentioned by Beth, so would not be able to be spent elsewhere in the system.
We wholeheartedly agree that the root cause needs to be addressed and not just the issue. Interestingly, this initiative in itself seems to be enough to get the conversation flowing between families of the school (green routes to school, less driving, neighbourhood greening, joining class actions and lobbying groups for diesel drivers, for example). We are also working with the school and, via the school council, the children/families to discuss why such an initiative is necessary in the first place and what can be done about the root cause. We feel that this conversation/action is all important and we are calling it "Putting the 'Green' into Goose Green".
However, in the shorter term, considering the benefit to the current and future children of the school, their families and other local families, we feel that this screen would be a very worthwhile achievement, particularly if we won this grant and the whole thing were paid for by this wonderful foundation.
Thanks for your input and time.
Friends of Goose Green School