Community growth is aim of new tunnels

New polytunnel at Ferney Lee School
New polytunnel at Ferney Lee School

A SCHOOL is aiming to encourage the community to grow produce by erecting two polytunnels in its grounds.

The two buildings, supplied by Northern Polytunnels, were constructed last week in Ferney Lee School’s wild garden.

One of the polytunnels will be used by pupils at the school to grow fruit and vegetables, while the other building will be for the adjacent allotment holders to use.

Mark Dempsey, the school’s site manager, said each class will have its own section in the polytunnel and the kitchen staff will also have space to grow produce which will then be used in school meals.

The initial idea for the polytunnels came from former headteacher Pauline Brogan-Hewitt, who retired in the summer, and former site manager Matt Harrow, who also left earlier in the year.

The school successfully applied for several thousand pounds of funding from the Big Lottery Fund.

Mr Dempsey has taken up the reins and the polytunnels are now on site.

“We have gone in a slightly different direction so we have ended up with two polytunnels now,” he said.

“We decided on two because if we had one next to the allotments we could rent it out to the allotment holders.

“Then the other one is for school use.

“We have ordered catalogues for everybody to look through.

“Each class will be able to choose what they want to grow.

“We have got the raised beds as well, so they can follow it up.”

The school is already growing its own produce in its grounds.

Mr Dempsey said the peas and potatoes have been very successful.

“Some of the produce is already being used in the school kitchen,” he said.

“We will be doing more of that.”

Headteacher Helen Hannah said the school has previously had polytunnels but they had to be removed due to vandalism.

She hopes it will be a different story this time.

“It was such a shame that the previous ones were vandalised,” she said.

“We are hoping that having use of these new polytunnels will be something that the community will enjoy.”