Blue Peter visits school in Salford to film the installation of a living wall

15.05.23 3 min read by Ryan Devlin
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Replica of Europe’s largest living wall in playground will improve air quality and possibly inspire the next generation of environmentally conscious construction, community and climate innovators.

Primary school children at St Philips in Salford hit the jackpot recently when they were not only the lucky recipients of a mini living wall to brighten up their playground, but were also visited by the Blue Peter team.

The installation of the living wall at St Philips has been inspired by the construction of a new office building close to the school. Eden, the £36 million, 115,000 sq. ft 12-storey office building in Salford, is ground-breaking in terms of sustainability and when it completes this summer, it will be home to Europe’s largest living wall. Eden part of the wider, £1bn, 50-acre Salford Central transformation being delivered by ECF – our national development partnership with Legal & General, one of the UK’s leading financial services groups and major global investor, and the government’s housing and regeneration agency, Homes England – with Salford City Council.

Eden will be home to 350,000 plants (32 different species), bird boxes and bug hotels, and measuring 43,000 sq ft, the wall will also be the second largest in the world. It has been designed to remove air pollutants including carbon and deliver a 174% net gain in the biodiversity of the area.

Each species of plant has been specially selected for its biodiversity, being rich in pollinators or the ability to mitigate air pollution. Plant species include Thymus Vulgaris (English Thyme), which is good for air quality, Hypericum Hidcote (St John’s Wort), which provides nectar and berries for birds and Hyacinthoides non-scripta (Bluebell) that is an early source of nectar.

Wanting to extend this wonderful innovation to the local community, Eden project partners contacted the headteacher at St Philips to find out if they would like their very own replica wall.

St Philip’s headteacher, Beverley Jackson, said: “As an urban school green places are particularly special to us, so the installation of this mini green wall is a most welcome injection of flora and fauna! More than that though, we all hope it will serve as a source of inspiration to the children, to the environmentally conscious builders and architects of the future.  One can’t help but be curious about how the wall works as a construction and the relationship shared by the plants and insects living on it. The children are extremely excited, and we are all looking forward to watching it grow and thrive!”

Ella Woodward, development manager, said:

It’s been such fun to provide the children with this unique insight into construction and property, showing them how it is linked to sustainability and the environment. As a nationwide developer with people, place, and the planet at the heart of everything we do, it is great to think we may have inspired some of tomorrow’s property professionals to think green when it comes to building!”

The programme will be shown on the BBC in the Autumn.

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