The OVO Foundation Nature Prize


St Winifred’s Primary School, Lewisham

Window boxes brighten student’s homes.

Students and staff at St Winifred’s Primary School in Lewisham, won a £200 OVO Foundation Nature Prize for their idea to create upcycled window boxes for families without access to green space at home, so increasing connection to nature and putting nature back into the local neighbourhood. 

The School Council, which is merged with the Eco-Council in order to encourage student activism, used old wooden pallets and catering tins from the school kitchen to create the window boxes. Part of the prize money was spent on age-appropriate tools and gardening equipment for the students, so they could be hands-on and take real ownership of the project.  

After building the boxes, students then filled them with compost and drought tolerant wildflower plugs, then gave them away at the school’s summer fair. While boxes were given to families without access to green space in their homes, packs of wildflower seeds were given out to those with gardens to plant them. The school gave out information sheets too, with instructions and information about the benefits the wildflowers would bring.  

“We were really pleased with the outcome in the end. I was quite surprised how far the money went and how many good comments we got back from parents.” 

Aidan Cunningham, Sustainability Lead and Early Years teacher

Students and staff hope that the window-boxes will encourage families to grow their own plants, or even fruit and vegetables, at home, particularly those families that don’t have access to outdoor space. The response from parents and carers has already been fantastic, with over 40 families taking home a window box or wildflower pack during the summer fair.  

As an urban school without access to green space, St Winifred’s project is a great example of how nature can be brought onto the school site in imaginative ways, and how doing so can inspire action in the local community. Being creative with materials, such as using old catering tins as planters, is a great starting point and something every school can do to bring even a small bit of nature into the classroom. 

St Winifred’s hopes to continue its sustainability journey by creating mini-habitats and green spaces around the school and planting more trees around the edge of the campus to provide shading from extreme temperatures and increase the school’s climate resilience. Materials and tools bought as part of their OVO Foundation Nature Prize project will help the school tackle these projects and help make sure students are fully involved in taking action against climate change and biodiversity loss.  

It’s been like a springboard for other things to be done, and for other projects to start.” 

Aidan Cunningham, Sustainability Lead and Early Years teacher

Lets Go Zero logo for schools working to become zero carbon by 2030.

Contact us

Email: letsgozero@ashden.org
Twitter: @LetsGo_Zero

Join the Campaign

OVO Foundation Nature Prize

Schools can win the cash to implement a community nature project. Schools from disadvantaged areas with high pupil premium are particularly encouraged to apply.

Applications opening 30 Novmeber 2023.

Find out more

en_GBEnglish (UK)