Sheffield firms build green barrier to cut playground pollution​​​​​​​

Sheffield businesses have joined forces to help a school cut pollution with a living, green barrier.

By David Walsh
Thursday, 15 August, 2019, 24:46
From left: Rowan Hall - parent governor, Gary Homes and Mick Foster of Henry Boot, Steve Frazer - Urban Wilderness, Anna Jorgensen - UoS, María del Carmen Redondo Bermúdez - PhD student.

Hunter’s Bar Infants is installing bamboo, dwarf conifers and screens made of ivy around the entire playground to block exhaust fumes. Deep soil beds have been created ahead of planting in October.

Playground nitrogen dioxide levels are usually on the edge of European legal limits - and even breached them over two months last winter.

Parent governor Rowan Hall said they hoped the 200ft long barrier would cut levels by at least 20 per cent - improving health and concentration and cutting absenteeism among the 270 pupils.

And the scheme could create a blueprint for the many other schools in Sheffield affected by traffic pollution.

#GoGoGreen is a collaboration between the infants and the University of Sheffield’s Department of Landscape Architecture. They were helped by firms including Urban Wilderness, Arup and Henry Boot.

Gary Holmes, of Henry Boot, said: “As a local contractor, we are delighted to support the school. The innovative scheme will lead to improved air quality for children for years to come.”

Andrew McDowell of Arup, and vice chair of Sheffield Business Together, said: “GoGoGreen is an ideal project for SBT.

“Our vision is to bring businesses together to collaborate on projects that address the broader city challenges, that no one business could deliver on its own.

“The ‘environment’ is a key theme for SBT and air quality is a particular issue for Sheffield. We are excited to be part of this groundbreaking project and research that could eventually benefit so many children across the city.”

The campaign also had help from RB Allfree, Sub Scan, the Urban Flows Observatory, Amey, Enzygo, Ecothrive and Ramm Sanderson. Many more businesses donated money and fundraising assets for plants and materials.

PhD student María del Carmen Redondo Bermúdez will compare playground pollution before and after construction.

Businesses can sponsor an ivy screen for £100. Register an interest HERE

Firms that supported the project:

Henry Boot Construction - principal contractors for groundworks

Urban Wilderness - Green barrier designs including hard landscape and planting proposals

RB Allfree - sub contractors for groundworks

Arup - structural drawings

Subscan - ground surveys

Urban Flows Observatory - the loan of specialist air quality measurement equipment

Ramm Sanderson - excavation around trees consultation

Ecothrive - soil consultation and procurement

G E Robinson & Co Ltd – suppliers of timber sleepers

Cemex UK Materials - concrete

Amey - waste removal

Enzygo - consultation, re-imagining the playground post planting

Many more donated money and fundraising assets for plants and materials.

For more information visit #GoGoGreen