Grounds and landscape

Grounds and landscapeGrounds and landscapeGrounds and landscape

Local green (vegetation) and blue (water) features can provide pupils with important access to nature and contribute to human health and well-being by offering opportunities for recreation and relaxation, providing a beautiful backdrop for a place to learn whilst enhancing air quality.

Surrounding grounds can impact on local climate by helping cool the air through transpiration and evaporation and absorb heat and offer shading. Green surfaces also allow for infiltration of water reducing the risk of flooding. Green structures, particular in more dense areas, can include green roofs, green walls and also trees or plants in containers, which contribute to improving the climatic and visual aesthetics.   Green spaces around schools encourage leisure and exercise.

Vegetation indigenous to the area and that attract wildlife and enhance biodiversity should be selected. Opportunities for growing plants and food should be explored wherever possible however small. This can include window boxes, hanging baskets, raised beds and larger allotment style growing areas.

It is important to combine local topography, ecosystems and landscape to create a microclimate, and setting that will make maximum use of the surrounding area of a school benefiting the pupils, the community and the environment and allowing them to appreciate the context and local history of where they live.

The size of green/blue structures are important together with form and quality. The location of green/blue spaces should be thought about in relation to the context of the site. For example, positioning playing fields away from busy roads to avoid exposure to air and noise pollution.  The location and type of parking facilities is also important as large areas of hardcover surface can lead to high levels of surface runoff during periods of heavy rainfall, and vast parking areas can lead to unattractive views and safety hazards.

What should I do?

Carefully plan grounds to maximise the use local topography, landscapes and ecosystems to enhance biodiversity, leisure and educational benefits.

WLGA - CLILC Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru / Welsh Assembly Government