50 firms hailed for installing green pollution barrier at Sheffield infant school

More than 50 businesses were celebrated at the launch of a living green barrier to cut playground pollution at a Sheffield infant school.

Wednesday, 6th November 2019, 4:18 pm
Children at Hunters Bar Infant School finish the green pollution barrier.

Firms and organisations offered in-kind services, funds and partnerships at Hunters Bar Infants, which suffers from dirty air - especially at drop-off and pick-up time.

The school’s #GoGoGreen campaign culminated in a launch party this week after it formed links with Sheffield Business Together.

That led to introductions to Henry Boot and Arup which supercharged the summer’s pre-planting groundworks project.

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The living green wall stretches around the 200ft perimeter of the south west Sheffield school and comes after eight months of fundraising and corporate engagement.

The infants also partnered with Sheffield University. PhD student María del Carmen Redondo Bermúdez has measured playground pollution for the last six months.

She said: “Fifty ivy fence panels, supplied by Mobilane and sponsored by city-wide supporters, act as the first line of defence; they aim to reduce the amount of NO2 gases reaching the playground.

“The middle layer consists of plant species selected because of their ability to reduce particulate matter in the air; such as conifers and bamboo. The third and final layer, which is the inner layer, first seen by children, has been designed using shrubs and herbaceous plants that complement the aesthetics of the playground.”

Headteacher Catherine Carr said they hoped the project would be a blueprint for other pollution-plagued schools.

“We really hope that we can use all of our learning and the relationships we have made along the way to make the process a little easier for other schools who might come up against some of the issues we experienced when we started.”

Playground nitrogen dioxide levels are on the edge of European legal limits - and even breached them over two months last winter.

Parent governor Rowan Hall said they hoped the barrier would cut levels by at least 20 per cent - improving health and concentration.