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Wasteland to Wonderland

Local contractors join forces to create new forest school for Bengeo pupils

Durkan Homes has teamed up with a group of twelve contractors working at its Bengeo housing development, The Stiles,  to transform an overgrown area, at the back of Bengeo Primary School’s playing fields, into a forest school and place for outdoor learning.

The contractors have neatly landscaped the once overgrown land to create new pathways and flower beds and a large fire pit area where the children will be able to enjoy outdoor stories and performances.

The work, which has been funded and completed by Durkan Homes and its contractors, free of charge to the school, has also involved the installation of a new timber cabin, providing an extra classroom for all forest school activities.

Bill Beyzade, Managing Director at Durkan Homes commented, “This has been a real labour of love for all involved and the entire team has worked tirelessly to transform the area. We’re delighted with the results and are looking forward to seeing the reaction of the children when they return in September for the new school term.

“Community is very much at the heart of what we do. We’re not just building homes, we’re creating communities for the future and that means investing in the education and learning of young people in the areas in which we work. Post-pandemic we’re all much more aware of the benefits that time outdoors and proximity to nature can deliver for both physical and mental well-being. It’s been a real pleasure for all involved to donate our time and create a space that we hope will last for generations to come.”

Justine Page, Headteacher at Bengeo Primary School, said, “Outdoor learning has an important part to play in our approach and reinforces our desire to provide children with learning opportunities that support their physical and mental wellbeing.

“A forest school is an outdoor environment providing opportunities for a child-centred learning process that focuses on investigation, exploration and supported risk-taking. It will make a huge difference to our pupils to have a dedicated forest school area, and because we plan to use our forest school whatever the weather, the new cabin will provide valuable under-cover space as we head into autumn and winter.

“We’re sure our pupils will love the opportunity for more outdoor exploration and really benefit from all a forest school has to offer. We’re grateful to Durkan Homes and all its contractors for the time and effort they’ve contributed to this project.”

The project team has consisted of representatives from the following companies:

• Durkan Homes – Homebuilder

• Down to Earth – Landscapers

• Allgood Services Limited – Bricklayers

• J F Lindsay Civil Engineering Limited – Groundworkers

• Graywood Engineering Limited – Metalworkers

• D and B Scaffolding Limited – Scaffolders

• PJA Carpentry Limited – Carpenters

• JSJ Roofing Limited – Roofers

• R G Taylor Engineering Limited – Plumbers

• Shortlands Limited – Plasterers

• Wheeler Electrical Limited – Electricians

• Unique Window Systems Limited – Window Installers

• H S Hurst Limited – Painters

• W R S Contracts Limited – Ceramic Tilers

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