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We need your help!

Goose Green School Primary School has launched a fundraising campaign for the installation of a pre-grown screen of ivy to help protect its pupils from the toxic emissions which are being released by vehicles travelling along Grove Vale which runs adjacent to its playground. (This is an issue for lots of London schools).

Our campaign has been shortlisted for a potential grant of £21k. The winner of the grant will be the project which receives the most public votes of support. Please help protect our children and help support this community campaign by registering and voting for our project at:

[goo.gl] - a 2 minute job which could make an enormous difference to the long-term health of the children.

For more information about the campaign please see: [www.goosegreenprimaryschool.org]

If there is any way whatsoever that you think you may be able to help our cause, please do. We would love for you to share our campaign voting link on your website/Twitter/Facebook and generally spread the word to your followers on our behalf.

Thank you

Friends of Goose Green School
What a great idea.
What an awfully large amount of money.
Can it not be done cheaper? Can't you get two for your money?
Why not just plant lots of privet bushes? (See below.)
Really - I am not kidding. I just can't believe it needs to cost that much, as much as I think it is a worthy idea and one that would inspire others.

Roger Harrabin, BBC enviro correspondent, has written this. (Similar articles are available at The Telegraph and Evening Standard sites) [www.bbc.co.uk]
Hedges of a certain height and trees that don't form a canopy seem to do the trick.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was august 09, 04:57pm by Nigello.

Good luck! but if you don't get it how about fake ivy or conifer screening? Not as pretty perhaps but no maintenance moving forward and about a tenner per square meter.
shell Wrote:

Good luck! but if you don't get it how about fake
ivy or conifer screening? Not as pretty perhaps
but no maintenance moving forward and about a
tenner per square meter.

I'm guessing because real plants absorb toxins and fake ones don't?
The real ivy would obvs be far better but if they don't get it praps fake is better than none? ( maybe not .. I'm no expert )
I really think that if those people are giving you money to plant a £21K hedge then they ought to - at the same time or instead of - stop driving so much. I am afraid this looks symbolic and tokenistic - which would be fine if it were much cheaper and still as effective (see privet suggestion).
I don't own a car (haven't for almost twenty years) and walk and use public transport mostly; I pester the council for better upkeep and more planting of trees and more green spaces, so it's not as if I am ranting wildly with no context or sympathy. I just can't give my support to this because it smacks of gesture over efficacy and is way too dear.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was august 09, 06:25pm by Nigello.

It may not be in the spirit of the thing, but I must say I agree with Nigello: we should be concentrating on stopping the source of pollution, not trying to build a screen against it. I'd far sooner £21,000 was spent on the school instituting schemes to encourage greener behaviour in terms of getting to school - walking buses etc maybe? Also, ivy grows like an absolute bugger if the continual battle we have with it on our back garden wall is anything to go by, surely a pupil-led project to grow their own protection would be a really exciting one for them?

Sorry if this seems curmudgeonly, but it sounds like a sticking plaster over a gaping wound solution to me - and I think actually sends the wrong message out to children that pollution is a fact of life against which we must protect ourselves as best we can, rather than something we need to eradicate.

I'd love this splendid school to have an extra £21K, but for better projects than this.
Great idea. I've submitted my vote. Hope the school is successful. I know the school has had several gardening and environmental education initiatives over the years as my son was a student at GG. They received funding for the eight fruit trees in the playground which the children over the years have looked after and which produce fruit. They have an established forest school programme with kids going to Lettsom Gardens every week. There is s vegetable container garden. Bird boxes for swifts were built by students and then installed near the eaves to encourage swift nesting. The Wildlife Garden Centre was involved in developing the area near the fence to have a more biodiversity wildlife area. I think the school has done more than most in regards to environmental education - particularly considering the small playground space in a developed urban area.

However, the car pollution issue needs specific planting as has been discussed above. A fully grown ivy fence/screen would take 3 years at least to grow so a more immediate solution is needed. The funding is coming from an insurance company - so not public funds.
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
It does sound like a lot of thought has gone into it, so that is encouraging. The fact it is coming from a private source is also welcome.
I think RH's point that it may teach children - and their parents - that pollution just has to be dealt with after it has happened is valid.
I do hope that opinions and habits will be changed - good luck!
(I love the trees in the school already - but some need to be clipped back: a twig in the eye isn't nice!)

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