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Penrith garden is still growing strong

A CIOB school project set up in 2001 keeps on teaching pupils about the environment
Pupils worked on Brunswick Road Primary’s Jungle Theme Garden
Pupils worked on Brunswick Road Primary’s Jungle Theme Garden

A sustainability project funded and organised by the CIOB 20 years ago has passed its test of time by still going strong today.

Ian Johnstone, then vice-chair of the Cumbria and Lancashire Branch was involved with the creation of a sustainable ‘Jungle Theme’ garden for Brunswick Road Primary School in Penrith in 2001. The initiative set out to connect industry and community, raise the profile of the CIOB and support the schoolchildren’s learning.

With pupils forming project management teams, the space enabled them to understand the environment and its delicate balances though a range of learning objectives.

“It was a real joy for all of us who helped to realise it”

Ian Johnstone, CIOB

It also allowed the CIOB to show students, parents, teachers and others something about how the construction industry improves and sustains the environment, as well as the knowledge and skills the industry requires, the job opportunities it presents, the challenges it faces and how those are met through teamwork.

The Jungle Theme Garden project was officially opened by television environmentalist Dr David Bellamy and a few weeks later CIOB’s then president, Professor John Bale, visited to hear from children, teachers and volunteers about the stimulus the project had created and how the garden was being used. 

Some 20 years later, the garden continues to look great and is part of the long-term curriculum. 

“The school staff have confirmed the project an educational success, and it was a real joy for all of us who helped to realise it,” says Johnstone. “It has proved to be a truly sustainable project, and along the way it has helped to raise the profile of the CIOB in Cumbria.” 

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