Nene Valley Day Nursery gets the ‘Green Flag’
Nene Valley Day Nursery in Cliftonville is a deeper shade of environmental green after receiving the top award in an international schools scheme involving millions of children across 64 countries.
The prestigious ‘Green Flag’ award for environmental awareness and conservation has been awarded to children and staff at the day nursery in Northampton General Hospital Complex, which is powered by green electricity and has zero waste to landfill.
An overjoyed Nene Valley Day Nursery Manager, Tracy Smith, said the award was the result of years of continuous dedication by staff and children, working together in the global Eco-schools programme.
“We are absolutely delighted to have won this award. Respecting and caring for the planet is an important lesson which we believe will stand the children in good stead for life. The fact that our children understand the importance of protecting the environment is brilliant and should be celebrated,” she said.
In the garden outside, children tend to fruit, vegetables and herbs all year round. Once picked, the produce is explored for learning purposes and used by Nursery Chefs in meals for the children.
The garden also plays host to a number of animal habitats, including a bug hotel and the children’s hand-made birdfeeders to encourage biodiversity.
Activities, such as crafting with natural and recycled materials, are designed to promote the development of personal, social and emotional life skills as well as introducing the children to basic maths, science and environmental messages.
“The activities are extremely popular with the children and we love seeing how much they enjoy being outside and tending to the eco-projects,” said Vicki Spikings, Qualified Practitioner and leader of the nursery’s Eco-Committee.
The committee also consists of a number of children who ensure that the rest of the nursery is environmentally considerate, turning off lights and taps where possible.
To attain Green Flag accreditation, Nene Valley had to first obtain Bronze and Silver status before a seven step programme led by the Eco-Committee.
Rigorous vetting of the projects was carried out by an independent inspector who was accompanied by Eco Committee members as she toured the nursery before the sustainable, eco-friendly Green Flag certificate was awarded.
There are currently 1,098 registered Eco-Schools settings in England. Of those; 58 hold the Green Flag Award – 25 being Childbase Partnership settings.