St Albans nursery receives Green Flag for environmental sustainability

Grasshoppers Day Nursery in St Albans was recognised for its environmental efforts by Eco-Schools. Picture: Grasshoppers...

Grasshoppers Day Nursery in St Albans was recognised for its environmental efforts by Eco-Schools. Picture: Grasshoppers Day Nursery - Credit: Archant

Children at a St Albans nursery have been recognised by a national eco body for their stellar environmental efforts.

Grasshoppers Day Nursery has been awarded a Green Flag award by the Eco-Schools programme, which aims to empower children and teens to improve our environment.

The programme is part of Keeping Britain Tidy, an independent environmental charity that campaigns to reduce litter, improve local places and prevent waste.

The scheme’s most prestigious accolade has been awarded to children and staff at the Ofsted-rated ‘outstanding’ day nursery on York Road, which is powered by green electricity and prides itself on sending zero waste to landfill, and for their exceptional environmental awareness and conservation practices.

Grasshoppers’ deputy manager Monika Kelly said the award was the result of years of sustained effort by staff and children working together: “We are absolutely thrilled to have earned a Green Flag award.

“This is predominantly a schools programme which involves older children, so the fact that our pre-schoolers are so engaged and understand the importance of what we’re doing is amazing. We believe this programme provides so many valuable teachings and educational messages, and will stand them in great stead for the rest of their lives.”

Children at every age are involved in the ongoing eco-project, from babies using recycled paper from the shredder for sensory activities, to older children creating bug hotels for insect observations and growing vegetables in the garden, which are then picked and used in meals by the nursery’s chefs.

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The setting also has a dedicated eco-committee which is made up of a number of children, as well as colleagues who take a lead role in ensuring the rest of the nursery is environmentally considerate by implementing changes where possible.

To attain Green Flag accreditation, Grasshoppers had to first obtain Bronze and Silver status. In a change to the normal inspection process due to COVID restrictions, rigorous vetting of the projects was carried out via a submission of web evidence, before the sustainable, eco-friendly certificate was awarded.