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Sandfield Primary to Build Green Screens to Combat Air Pollution

Published on: 26 Jan, 2023
Updated on: 27 Jan, 2023

Sandfield Primary School will build green screens and plant trees around its perimeter to act as a natural shield against emissions from idling cars and traffic to protect the health of the school community.

The project to cut pollution on the school grounds will be funded by a £40,000 grant from the Reclaim Network and a £500 donation from the Ripley & Send Rotary Club.

Sandfield Primary School is to buoild a green wall to reduce air polltion on the school grounds.

The school said every child in the school will plant a section of this wall. The school’s newsletter said its eco team will be “researching which plants are best to help reduce the impact of pollution”.

The project is part of an ongoing collaboration with the the school, parents and local residents, local charity Zero Carbon Guildford and the University of Surrey’s Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE). The collaboration, called GoGreen, aims to reduce, remove, and monitor air pollution around the school grounds.

Sandfield sits at the junction of York Road and Stoke Road which is regularly congested during school arrival and departure times. The air quality levels at the primary school frequently breach safe levels says the results of monitoring by GCARE.

Sandfield Primary pupils on “Wheels Day” in June 2022 where the school encouraged pupils to pupils out of cars coming to school and onto scooters, skates and bikes.

A spokesperson for Zero Carbon Guildford said that the town is in the 97th percentile for air pollution in the UK and at times has the worst air quality in England

The government says up to 36,000 deaths a year are attributed to long-term exposure to air pollution.

Head teacher at Sandfield Kate Collins said the grant “will allow the school to fulfil our vision of creating a green wall around the perimeter of the school.

“Hopefully, this project will inspire other schools in built up areas, to create their green walls too. Therefore, protecting more school children from the harmful effects of air pollution.”

Founding director of GCARE, Professor Kumar, said reductions of up to 44 per cent of air pollutants were possible with strategically designed vegetation.

Kate Alger, local resident and former Sandfield parent, said: “I really hope that this project will help to make this very real but invisible threat visible to many more people so that they change their habits for the better, as well as considerably decreasing the amount of air pollution that the local schoolchildren are exposed to.”

Ben McCallan of Zero Carbon Guildford said: “This sort of project is a brilliant way to make our towns a more pleasant place to live whilst tackling the climate crisis in a positive and engaging way.”

See Sandfield Primary Get On Their Bikes Travel To Shool On Wheels Day

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Responses to Sandfield Primary to Build Green Screens to Combat Air Pollution

  1. Mark Bray-Parry Reply

    January 26, 2023 at 3:24 pm

    What a great project, and following on from the “Wheels Day” last year to promote active travel. Well done Sandfield, and well done GCARE and the Ripley & Send Rotary Club for funding.

    Excess risks associated with air pollution are highest for children. GBC/SCC must take note of what Sandfield are doing and look at delivering similar projects throughout the Borough, alongside traffic management solutions that keep polluting cars away from schools.

  2. Peta Malthouse Reply

    January 26, 2023 at 10:02 pm

    A very dear friend of mine who lived in Stoke Road died of an asthma attack, back in the 80s when we didn’t understand the impact of air pollution that well.

    I agree with Mark Brày Parry. Sandield School is on a junction frequently effected by congestion.

    Should we be doing more? Is there a place for community fundraising?

  3. Roger Carnegie Reply

    January 27, 2023 at 9:08 am

    This is a great initiative and is why we need to offer alternatives to driving everywhere for everything. The impacts of this policy are felt by the most vulnerable in our society.

    I do hope the University of Surrey and Zero Carbon Guildford can help in this situation.

    I’d be interested to see if the school pupils could band together and ask the borough and county councils to do something about pollution levels which affect their health.

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