Educational Establishments

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Educational Establishments

Lancashire Landscapes offers a comprehensive service to nurseries, schools, colleges and other educational establishments across the north of England.

Lancashire Landscapes

Our services encompass all those detailed in this website including general grounds maintenance, sports grounds maintenance, landscape design, landscape construction, tree work, winter gritting and construction of playgrounds, learning environments and safety surfaces. We also offer a completely free educational outreach service to primary schools which includes provision of lessons and workshops which employ both classroom and outdoor-based learning to cover relevant areas of the national curriculum.

We are sensitive to the special requirements when working in educational environments and you can be assured that all employees have undertaken and achieved CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) clearance and that all our work is thoroughly risk assessed so as to protect both children and adults. We adhere to all legislation governing our services and have a strong health and safety ethos, being affiliated both to the SAFEcontractor scheme operated by Connaught Compliance Services and the ContractorPlus scheme operated by Safety Management and Monitoring Services. In addition we hold £10 million of employers liability insurance and £5 million of public and products liability insurance. Through the continued support of a dedicated team we constantly strive to provide educational establishments with the highest quality of service, on schedule at a competitive rate.

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Our work in educational establishments is the most rapidly expanding part of our business and our growth in this area is fuelled by the poor quality of service offered by many of our competitors in the educational sector. This is especially the case when it comes to the maintenance of grounds where many contractors happily employ bad practice, taking multiple short cuts to speed up the work. The photographs below illustrate the following examples of bad estate maintenance practice which are all too common in the grounds of schools and other educational establishments:

  1. Failure to collect litter prior to cutting grass meaning that litter in shredded into unsightly ‘confetti’ when mowing is undertaken.
  2. Use of heavy ride-on lawnmowers when the ground is wet and soft, causing damage to the grass surface.
  3. Failure to collect litter from within shrubberies and hedgerows leading to substantial accumulations of bottles, cans, wrappers and other such rubbish.
  4. Over use of weed killer along fence lines and kerb edges leading to eventual soil erosion and the creation of trip hazards.
  5. Failure to clear mud and leaf litter from kerb edges, leading to thick accumulations of such debris which encourages weed growth.
  6. Inadequate weed control leading to uncontrolled weed growth on hard surfaces and within planting beds
  7. Failure to adequately trim grass along fence lines and around obstacles leading to an untidy appearance with tufts of long grass.
  8. Failure to collect accumulated leaves from grass area meaning that the grass is smothered and dies.
  9. Neglect of planters, hanging baskets, tubs and window boxes
  10. Complete neglect of school gardens and nature study areas.

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We encourage you to look around your grounds and see if any of the above evident.  If they are, perhaps you should consider moving your grounds maintenance contract to Lancashire Landscapes. We can work to your existing grounds maintenance schedule or, after discussing your needs and analysing your site, we can devise a bespoke maintenance schedule which perfectly suits your requirements and your budget.  Our service can cover all aspects of exterior maintenance on hard surfaces, grass and planted areas including litter clearance, leaf clearance, road sweeping, tree & shrub maintenance, weed control, grass cutting and turf maintenance (including selective weed control and application on fertilizer).

Effective school grounds maintenance requires more than the simplistic clean and clinical approach employed on industrial sites and around office blocks.  Specialist skilled and qualified staff are required correctly maintain school nature study areas and ensure that features such as ponds, willow sculptures and ‘eco-piles’ are kept in a proper state of repair.  It is all too common to see such nature study areas built with good intentions but then completely ignored by the grounds maintenance contractors.  What’s more, small changes to standard maintenance regimes can be made free-of-charge so as to manage the whole school estate more in harmony with nature and hence increase its educational value.  In particular, mimicking the concept of ‘buffer zones’ around farmers’ fields, peripheral zones around school fields can be left to grow long so as to create ‘meadow’ areas which will attracts insects, small mammals and birds.  Small pathways cut into the grass can then double as both adventure trails and teaching aids.

Well maintained attractive grounds are vital if you are to create the right impression for staff, parents, pupils and any other visitors do your site.   After all, the grounds of your site are the very first thing seen upon arrival and can be seen as an indicator of the standards to which you work both inside and outside the classroom.  Clean and tidy grounds speak of an efficient, well-run establishment where high standards matter while, on the flip side, unkempt grounds strewn with rubbish create the impression that you have a half-hearted approach to your activities.  What’s more, we now live in a world where environmental responsibility is a necessity which should be instilled in children from an early age.  Surely one of the best ways to show children that they should care for their planet is to show them that you care for the environment immediately around them. By switching your grounds maintenance contract to Lancashire Landscapes you can be sure that your whole estate is in good hands.  We can then work to help you further improve your grounds by provision of other relevant services detailed in this website.

Free Educational Outreach Service

Lancashire Landscapes offers a truly unique and completely free Educational Outreach Service which goes well beyond our standard provision of contractual services. The service involves provision of workshops which teach children about the importance of plants and the different kind of habitats they will find outside the classroom. The service has been extremely well received at all participating schools which have included, most recently:

The Heys Primary School, Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire
Saint Raphael’s Primary School, Stalybridge, Cheshire

“The content of the classroom session was excellent. It was informative, interactive and well delivered. In addition the art and crafts session that followed was great fun and well organised. This classroom experience was harmonious with our ethos of learning through excellence and enjoyment. Thank you Andy and Phil.”
Rebecca Billance, Year 3 Teacher, St Raphael’s Primary School

In developing these workshops we have looked very carefully at both the programmes of study and suggested Schemes of Work for Key Stages 1 and 2 of the National Curriculum. The workshops are based primarily on the curriculum for Science and Geography but also cover other subjects and promote learning about sustainable development. They combine fun interactive presentations with various group activities based both in the classroom and outside. The workshops can be designed to cover any duration from an hour up to half a day and the content can be varied to suit children of any age from 4-11. The sessions are also adaptable to enable delivery in schools with limited outdoor resources or to allow complete indoor delivery in bad weather.

The content and method of delivery are tailored to each school’s specific needs but commonly occurring elements include:

  • A brainstorming exercise in which children are asked to think about the multiple uses of plants.
  • A sensory exercise in which children are allowed to touch and smell a diversity of different plants.
  • An interactive Powerpoint presentation showing children photographs of different plants and the different products which humankind derives from them.
  • A participatory exercise in which children match different British animals with their different habitats.
  • A Powerpoint presentation teaching children that many of the plants with which they are familiar come from different parts of the world.
  • A comical presentation in which children learn about the different factors which plant need to survive: light, air, warmth, water, minerals and soil.
  • An interactive presentation in which children actively participate to learn about the parts of a plant, the role of insects in pollination and the different means of seed dispersal.
  • An outdoor exercise in which children search for and indentify different mini-beasts
  • Various fun activities including group work to design a school garden, artwork involving drawing live insects, a seed planting exercise and various forms of craftwork.

The workshop has been developed by our managing directors whose combined qualifications include a BSc in Landscape Management and a BSc and MSc in Psychology. We readily admit that this service is provided as a marketing exercise and that we hope it will persuade you to use our services. However, we also sincerely promise that the service is highly professional, of real educational value and involves absolutely no hard sell. We will provide you with this service completely free of charge and even if you are happy with your present contractors or employ a caretaker to undertake most of your landscape related work. The service is simply intended to raise our profile and we expect nothing in return other than an opportunity to introduce ourselves.