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Royston Primary School

Brightly coloured planters and green walls are bringing joy and vitality to children in a Glasgow primary school and the surrounding community as the result of a Parent Council initiative.

Lack of greenery

Flanked by the M8 motorway and Royston Road, Royston Primary School’s playground is dominated by a tall brick wall. Artwork painted on the brick surface has become faded and natural elements in the area are sparse. The urban vibe accentuated by building work in the surrounding area. This led the three active members of the parent body to embark on a project to enhance the exterior environment.

Bronwyn Tibbs, chairperson of the Parent Council, said: “There’s not much greenery around.

“We only have one wee patch of grass which really isn’t enough. So we focused on creating a living wall and bringing in plants to brighten up one of the playgrounds.

“We wanted to do something totally unique which would help the pupils and the environment around the school.”

The Parent Council chairperson explained the three key project aims were to:

  • Amaze the children with the bright containers and plants.
  • Use plants to neutralise some of the pollution in the city centre location.
  • Carry forth the awareness and momentum created in the school from COP26 by doing something positive for the environment.

The Solution

The final solution, made possible from a combination of pre pandemic Parent Council fundraising and the Rosemont Development Trust, includes two green walls and brightly coloured planters.

To appeal to the young audience, plants of various types and colours have been incorporated into the green wall. The end result is a vibrant display, with a mixture of trailing and upright specimens. The plants will quickly grow to form a lush covering.

Coloured, curvy planters fit together like pieces of a jigsaw, piquing the interest of the children. Bright colours bring cheerfulness to the playground and the plants improve the biodiversity credentials of the school, creating a habitat for insects and attracting pollinators.

Bronwyn said: “The kids love the brightly coloured containers and watering the plants and they love seeing the butterflies coming into the playground.

“They are really taking ownership for their playground, making the choice to play football in another part of the playground.”

According to Bronwyn, the response from the children and staff has been extremely positive. The success of the installation makes the trepidation the Parent Council members felt at the outset of the project worthwhile.

Bronwyn explained that Lex Kennedy, interior installations manager at GP Plantscape, made the process much easier than anticipated. She said: “We were all worried about the project, but I cannot thank Lex enough. From the moment we spoke on the phone, from him visiting us to discuss the solution and going back and forth with ideas and quotes, his knowledge was impeccable. He was just amazing.”

The Parent Council members are now looking forward to developing the project further with the addition of another green wall in conjunction with GP Plantscape.

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Kevin Stewart, Facilities Manager , Registers of Scotland
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Caroline Hammond, Office Manager , LSPIM
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Sandy Fraser, Facility Management , Glenmorangie
“Nine out of ten people comment on the displays. The plants are simple but effective. Elaine [contracts manager] is very efficient and very knowledgeable and the installations guys were excellent, so helpful and particularly pleasant. We deal with delivery guys every day and it’s good to find quality guys like that doing deliveries and a really good job.”
Gordon Anthony, General Manager , Park Hotel
“Incorporating biophilia in a recent hybrid pilot workspace for a client in Glasgow was such an important part of the jigsaw. The project included large trees, standing planters in various designs, shelf planters and two bespoke moss walls. The exterior courtyard also underwent a transformation including power washing the paving, sanding and painting of the exterior furniture, new gravel, a new Astro turf putting green and various planters with lovely biophilia displays. The feedback has been fantastic and people have been raving about it from a senior level. A big thanks to all the team at GP who were a great support and pulled out all the stops to ensure completion on time.”
Susan Houston, Sales Support Manager , Apleona
“We pride ourselves on being a very culture orientated company where employee’s welfare is at the forefront of every decision. I want the office to be a welcoming and happy space for everyone who comes in and getting plants put in was the next obvious decision for this. We love our plants and couldn’t be without them now.”
Nikki Thng, CEO & Founder , Class for Kids
“The greenery creates a calm and tranquil environment in which to work and are conducive to the design process.”
Mette Møller, Urban Designer , HarrisonStevens
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John MacFarlane , Facilities and Maintenance Manager, UWS
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