School building with lots of wooden planters

Town Farm

Trees for Cities implements Planting Healthy Air projects at schools in areas of high air pollution, redesigning playgrounds with a focus on improving air quality and increasing biodiversity. One such school is Town Farm Primary School in Staines, 1km away from Heathrow Airport’s runways where planes have an immense impact on pollution levels.

Each class at the school was encouraged to plant a standard tree and be responsible for its maintenance, with pupils having had the chance to eat fresh berries grown in the fruit-growing area and see wildflowers grow in specially designed beds. Year 5 pupils have monitored the air pollution around their school grounds, learning about the effects of pollution and the impact that trees and other plants have on reducing air pollution, in partnership with Mapping for Change. Pupils shared their findings with the rest of the school through posters and creative storytelling, and wrote letters to their local MP.

This Planting Healthy Air project has created a whole host of benefits: a green space with green infrastructure that the children can play on, fruit trees and bushes that have allowed them to learn about food growing and where fruit comes from, and increased opportunities for outdoor learning. The air pollution monitoring exercises have enabled interactive and scientific education, bolstered by lesson plan resources for teachers. The space itself provides an environment that can improve the mental and physical health of the pupils and staff.

The sensory garden has inspired imaginative stories amongst Year 5 pupils—they took the Trees for Cities mascot Rowan the Hedgehog into their outdoor space, and have written about his adventures there surrounded by trees, flowers, plants and insects!

The staff from Trees for Cities and Mapping for Change have actively encouraged our pupils to want to be outside and look after our environment.

Lead Teacher at Town Farm Primary School

Thanks to our Funders

  • Town Farm Primary School

  • Forestry Commission: Urban Tree Challenge Fund

  • British United Provident Association (BUPA)

  • Argo Global

Thanks to our Partners

  • Mapping for Change