Leicestershire school receives £26,700 grant to develop community garden  

16th August 2023

The Avanti Fields School in Leicester has received a grant of £26,700 from the Severn Trent Community Fund, for the development of a new community garden. 

The garden, which will be created on an unused area to the rear of the school, will be a haven for wildlife and will be used to grow a variety of plants, flowers, fruit and vegetables. It will be available for use by both the school and wider community groups. 

The community garden will also feature a dedicated space for a 'Beetle Bank' - a natural alternative to chemical and artificial pesticides – that will foster and provide habitat for insects, birds and other fauna that prey on pests.  

The school feeds more than 1,300 pupils every day and food waste generated from daily meals will be used to create natural compost for the garden. 

Reena Patel, Chair of Avanti Fields School PTFA, said: “The grant from Severn Trent is going to enable us to bring forward our vision for what will be a fantastic resource for both our pupils and the wider community. 

“The wildflower spaces will create a great natural habitat for bees and butterflies, while the growing of foods will raise awareness among the pupils and wider community of the importance of self-sustainable locally grown produce and positive impact that this can have on the environment and in reducing our own carbon footprints. 

“We really want this garden to be a new focal point for the community and to help bring people together to share the benefits. We have already received a lot of interest from groups including the Hamilton Residents Association and local Scout group to use the site for group events and activities.”

The school has already reached out and secured interest from community groups including residents’ associations, businesses and volunteer groups. A proportion of garden produce will be donated to local causes, such as the nearby Thurncote Road Foodbank. 

The community gardening club and the in-house school gardening club will both use the space as an example of how local communities can create a sustainable space that benefits the environment and landscape. 

Sue Heyes, Severn Trent Community Fund Officer, said: “Our awarding panel loved the community aspect of this project and how proactive the school has been in already securing interest from so many organisations. 

“We are always looking for more local projects in the regions in which we work which would benefit from grant funding and would encourage anyone who may be applicable to get in touch.” 

For more information on the Severn Trent Community Fund and to find out how to make an application visit stwater.co.uk and search for Community Fund. 

For further media information: 02477 715 640 or email: media@severntrent.co.uk 

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