Pupils on mission to turn Forest Gate into 'Forest Green'

forest gate community school garden club members

L-R: pupil Shi Min Lin, the school's Julie Burman and Tahmina Chowdhury, Iram Quraishi of Loop Labs, Stephen Mason of Forest Gate Community Garden and Rafi Ghazanfar. - Credit: Babar Javed

Schoolchildren are turning a corner of Forest Gate green.

Youngsters from Forest Gate Community School teamed up with members of Forest Gate Community Garden and non-profit Loop Labs to transform their playground.

Pupils are growing strawberries, parsley, rhubarb and more at a new gardening club at the secondary in Forest Lane. 

Darina Atlashkina, 12, said: "I enjoy gardening a lot. I would recommend it to people who have never tried. It's relaxing and relieves stress."

Fellow pupil, Rafi Ghazanfar, 11, added that the school's planters look much nicer compared to the grey buildings all around.

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Science teacher Sian Watson explained how gardening helps pupils learn about biology, farming and the environment. 

"It's been excellent to work with experts from the community garden," she said.

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Facilities manager Julie Burman said the planters looked vibrant in the playground, a welcome contrast to the built environment.

"We want to make it not just Forest Gate, but Forest Green," she added.

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