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Top international award for Owlsmoor nursery ‘eco warriors’

Greengables Day Nursery in Owlsmoor 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 Yeovil Road, which is powered by green electricity and has zero waste to landfill.

An overjoyed Greengables Day Nursery Manager, Jen Ralphs, 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 Greengables, 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 and everyone’s future.”

“The Green Flag award is predominantly a programme that is aimed at older school aged children, so the fact that our children have been awarded this should be celebrated,” she added.

The nursery garden features a growing patch where vegetables and herbs are tended to all year round; including parsnips, lettuce and peas. Once picked, the produce is used by Nursery Chefs to include in the children’s meals.  

The garden also plays host to a number of animal habitats, including a bug hotel, the children’s handmade bird feeders and plants that especially attract butterflies and bees to increase 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 basic mathematics, science and environmental messages.

Sylvia Condon, Leader of the nursery Eco-Committee said;

“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”.

The committee also consists of colleagues Emma Bosworth, Lorna Cowie, Leah Haswell and Rebecca Saunders, as well as multiple children who take a lead role in ensuring the rest of the nursery is environmentally considerate.

To attain Green Flag accreditation, Greengables 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.