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Putting the 'Green' in Green Park Day Nursery

Green Park Day Nursery in Reading is a deeper shade of environmental green after receiving the top award in an international schools scheme involving millions of children across 64 countries.

The prestigious ‘Green Flag’ award for environmental awareness and conservation has been awarded to children and staff at the day nursery in Lime Square, which is powered by green electricity and has zero waste to landfill.

An overjoyed Green Park Day Nursery Manager, Mandy Cooper, said the award was the result of years of continuous dedication by staff and children, working together in the global Eco-schools programme.

“We aim to give children the best possible future here at Green Park, and looking after the environment plays a huge part in that. The respect and care the children have for nature is lovely to see and bodes well for their adult lives.”

The nursery boasts a large outdoor space where the children are able to tend to fruit, vegetables and herbs all year round. Once picked, the produce is used by Nursery Chefs in meals and explored for learning purposes.

The garden also plays host to a number of animal habitats, including a bug hotel and the children’s handmade bird feeders to encourage biodiversity.

Activities, which also include crafting with natural and recycled materials, are designed to promote the development of personal, social and emotional life skills as well as introducing the children to maths, science and environmental messages.

“The children are so enthusiastic about all aspects of life at the eco-nursery which is lovely to see. They love seeing the results of their hard work, such as when we can pick the home-grown produce or see the animals in the garden habitats”, said Lisa Manston, Deputy Manager and member of the nursery Eco-Committee.

The committee also consists of Zhodi Constance, Mandy Cooper, Bethany Hart, Neetu Paul, Lauren Hannah and Scarlett Seward, as well as a group of children who take a lead role in ensuring the rest of the nursery is environmentally considerate.

The victory comes after respected adventurer and United Nations Patron of the Wilderness, Ben Fogle, wrote to the nursery children to wish them well for the assessment, as well as sending a hand signed picture.

To attain Green Flag accreditation, Green Park had to first obtain Bronze and Silver status before a seven step programme led by the Eco-Committee.

Rigorous vetting of the projects was carried out by an independent inspector who was accompanied by Eco-Committee members as she toured the nursery before the sustainable, eco-friendly Green Flag certificate was awarded.

Childbase Partnership currently holds 40% of all Green Flag awards in Early Years settings within England, with a total of 22 nurseries holding the esteemed accolade.