New woodland area will spruce up primary school playground

An outdoor cinema is just one of the ambitious ideas dreamt up by pupils at Dearham Primary School near Maryport as a way of sprucing up their playground.

A competition to design a new recreational area at the Cumbrian school was held before lockdown and now work is in full flow to bring to life the winning entry from Daisy Smith in Year 6.

The new woodland area will have a seating area made from logs, raised garden planters, wood chipping path ways, trees, a vegetable patch and a storage shed. 

The improvements have all been funded by United Utilities which has been working in the area installing a new pipeline.

United Utilities construction project manager, Rachael Goodson, explained: “We have now marked out the whole area to match the winning entry and have planted all the saplings to create the wooded area. 

“We wanted to show our thanks to the local community for its patience while we carried out these necessary improvements to our assets in their area and to leave a lasting legacy in the village after our work has been completed.”

Mrs Abi Bell, a teacher at Dearham Primary School, said: "We are all really excited about our new outdoor area, which will be a wonderful space for all of the children in our school to use, providing lots of fantastic new learning experiences.”

Robert Jackson from Volkerstevin added: “The improvements have been funded in collaboration with our contractors C2V+ to install bark paths, seating areas and a tool shed. Tree saplings have been supplied and planted by Lowther Forestry, with stone for the base of the Greenlands Road play area supplied by Harrisons and gravel by Waitings.”

The water firm has also teamed up with a local farmer with land next to the school, to decorate all of his hay bales with new purple wrap and emoji faces. A donation to the Well Child Charity is made for each wrap bought.

It is also in the process of helping to improve a water-logged play park on Greenlands Road, Maryport which is close to Dearham Primary School.

As part of its improvement project at Dearham, United Utilities is replacing, and in some areas installing, new sections of sewer pipe in Craika Road, Maryport Road, Central Road, Pottery Lane, Greenlands Road, Browside Road, Main Street, The Went, Church Street, St Mungo’s Close and Wilsons Farm Close.

It is also installing new sections of sewer pipe through land at Wilsons Farm, crossing under Row Beck to the treatment works and within the fields at Harker Marsh.  The company is also extending the wastewater treatment works site, so it can construct a new underground storm water holding tank. Work is expected to be completed by end August 2021.