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Cambourne Primary School Receive 'Bloomin Brilliant' Donation towards Sensory Garden

Uplands Place Vine Primary School Donation

Primary school children in Cambourne will soon be able to start enjoying a new sensory garden that has been two years in the making, following a donation from a retirement housebuilder.

McCarthy Stone, the developer behind Uplands Place on High Street, has donated £500 to The Vine Inter-Church Primary School to help bring the much-needed outdoor area to life, highlighting its commitment to create a positive legacy in the community.

Set to open its gates soon, homeowners and staff from the retirement housebuilder recently joined children and staff at the school on The Vines for a glimpse of the sensory garden as it nears completion, where they presented a cheque for the donation. 

Helping to promote outdoor learning, sensory gardens have become a popular feature of schools, especially Special Educational Needs (SEN) schools. They typically include a wide variety of plants and foliage that stimulate the senses, helping to foster a deeper connection with nature while tapping into the principles of mindfulness. Acting as a therapeutic space for people to recuperate, sensory gardens can also help to alleviate stress and enhance your sense of wellbeing. 

Construction of the sensory garden at The Vine Inter-Church Primary School first began in 2022, with the hard landscaping now complete. Perfectly timed for the arrival of spring, the next phase of the project will see the school focus on the planting and soft landscaping, as it introduces colour, shape, and movement through an array of trees, shrubbery, and fresh blooms. This includes camomile, honeysuckle, buddleia, and Japanese Red Maple, a small, slow growing shrub with deep reddish-purple leaves and vibrant red fruits. 

McCarthy Stone’s donation will help to ensure the school will be able to complete work on the outdoor area which will also feature a living archway to support climbing plants, a water feature providing soothing sounds, seating areas, a pathway leading towards the surrounding woodland, and a gazebo where children will sit and enjoy their outdoor classes. 

Mr Hynes, Headteacher at The Vines Inter-Church Primary School, comments: “We first discussed having a sensory garden more than a decade ago, so it’s fantastic to finally see that vision come to life. The garden will contribute massively to the children’s learning experience, not least their overall wellbeing. We have a lot of pupils with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs; therefore, a sensory garden is an excellent way to introduce a sense of calm and stimulate the senses without feeling overwhelmed by them. We want to thank McCarthy Stone for their generous donation, which means we can make sure the garden will be completed on time for pupils to start enjoying.” 

David Meachem, Divisional Sales Director at McCarthy Stone, added: “An important part of what we do at McCarthy Stone is support local activities and initiatives in the towns and communities in which we build to help create a lasting, positive legacy. Therefore, we’re delighted to lend our support to The Vines Inter-Church Primary School by helping to enrich the pupils’ learning through the addition of an immersive outdoor space.”