The children of Foleshill are helping to force anti-social behaviour from Edgwick Park, thanks to a local project to encourage positive activities.
On Friday 29th November 2019, over 100 primary school students from four Foleshill schools will join Pru Porretta, Lady Godiva, and the Park Rangers to plant 420 native shrubs in Edgwick Park, Foleshill.
The shrubs have been donated by the Woodland Trust to mark Tree Week and encourage community groups to get involved in improving their local environment.
Park Ranger, Roland Mackie, who will be supervising the planting, said “The children will be planting a new hedge with native fruit plants along a fence that protects a fruit orchard planted earlier this year by children from the same schools. They will learn about the fruit that grows naturally in hedges around the UK. In a couple of years’ time, they’ll be able to come back and pick the fruit. Best of all, they get out of the classroom into the open air, which they love.”
The project is part of the Lottery-funded Edgwick Park for the People project, led by Broad Street Meeting Hall, which aims to improve the park and encourage local people to make good use of use it. Pru Porretta, who is Coventry’s Lady Godiva and leads the Godiva Trust, is part of the team organising activities. She said “We ran ‘art in the park’ workshops in the park with the same schools earlier this year. The children loved it and the schools jumped at the chance to bring the children back again. Foleshill is so built up, the children really benefit from being outdoors. It’s such a pleasure to see their excitement when they have contact with nature and do something practical and creative.”
Michael Doyle, Headteacher of St Elizabeths primary school said, “Re-claiming the park from anti-social behaviour has been an issue very close to the children's hearts - so much so that last year they raised it with our local MP, Colleen Fletcher, who subsequently raised it with Teresa May in Prime Minister’s Question Time. Activities like these show how much the children enjoy their local outdoor space and that the park is theirs to enjoy, not a place to avoid.”
Since ‘Edgwick Park for the People’ was launched in March this year, over 1,500 children and teenagers have been involved in outdoor activities, including bird and bat box making, orchard planting, wildflower planting, ‘art in the park’ and a range of summer sports activities.
One child said to Pru Porretta, “Please Miss, can we come to the Park and plant trees, make bug boxes and bird feeders everyday, we love being outside and doing this with you.”
Alan Griffiths of Broad Street Meeting Hall, who was this year awarded a British Empire Medal for his work in the community, said “The Hall is here to serve Foleshill and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to make this project happen. I hope we can build on it so that Edgwick Park becomes a venue for some City of Culture events in 2021”.