Evesley Primary School in the London Borough of Newham has recently had an extensive new building development with modern and dramatic features such as a large retaining gabion wall. The school wanted to incorporate natural play features and a natural learning area into the open space that wraps around the new development. It was important to them that as much natural habitat be included in the design as possible because they wanted their pupils to be able to get close to nature and find out first hand where bugs and other wildlife comes from and their value to the environment.
The masterplan design proposes predominantly native planting and incorporates a substantial flowering lawn area with long grass borders for the children to run around, an enclosed nature trail weaving through hedgerow and woodland ground cover themed planting and workshop areas for learning about natural process, native plants and creatures and sustainable techniques and other environmental learning. There are other wildlife friendly features such as log piles and dry hedges proposed throughout the scheme. A long bank of English lavender will be a beautiful, fragrant, robust and low maintenance feature that will also attract nectar seeking insects. I have also proposed trying to establish meadow plants into the scree on top of the gabion walls, which could be a beautiful addition not dissimilar to brown roofs and brownfield sites. The design is due to be built in the coming months and more images will be added in due course.