Alban City School pupils protected by anti-pollution green screen

PUBLISHED: 11:36 24 April 2018 | UPDATED: 11:37 24 April 2018

Pupils from reception class to year five at Alban City School plant ivy outside their school to create a

Pupils from reception class to year five at Alban City School plant ivy outside their school to create a "green screen" and help block pollutants from nearby Hatfield Road, St Albans. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

Pupils at a city centre school have been given new protection from unsafe levels of pollution from a nearby thoroughfare.

Green Party council candidate Keith Cotton has worked with businesses to install ivy plants at the gates from the entrance to Alban City School to the playground to suck up pollution from vehicles travelling along Hatfield Road and the roundabout by St Peter’s Church.

The ivy plants, known as a ‘green screen’, were unveiled on Friday with the help of students and Jules Thorogood from Aylett Nurseries.

The school’s co-head Gilly Stray said: “The purpose of it was to try and reduce the pollution from the road to improve the children’s health and wellbeing.”

The St Albans garden centre has previously planted flowers in the school’s playground.

Pupils from reception class to year five at Alban City School plant ivy outside their school to create a Pupils from reception class to year five at Alban City School plant ivy outside their school to create a "green screen" and help block pollutants from nearby Hatfield Road, St Albans. Picture: DANNY LOO

The green screen project was sponsored by Debenhams Ottoway and partner Nigel Drake said: “We are delighted to be a part of this scheme and feel privileged to be able to work with Keith and Alban City School to reduce air pollution in the children’s playground.

“We’ve been very impressed by the work Keith is doing to improve air quality to create a better environment for the children.

“We hope the hedgerow will help to improve the health of the young school children.”

Keith, with the help of data company Emu Analytics, has compiled air pollution data from 25 locations across St Albans city centre, including The Peahen junction and The Horn pub.

Green Party candidate for St Peter's ward Keith Cotton. Picture: DANNY LOOGreen Party candidate for St Peter's ward Keith Cotton. Picture: DANNY LOO

The legal limit for nitrogen dioxide levels is 40ugm squared by minus three [micrograms per cubic metre of air; in this case, micrograms of nitrogen oxide] from several tests over a period of time, but only five locations in the city reported air pollution less than that, and none were below 30.

The worst spot was on Holywell Hill by Rock Pop Candy with 87. The air pollution outside Alban City School was 53.

Keith said: “I’ve been using professional equipment to monitor traffic pollution across St Albans, including outside the school, and the latest results show pollution is still well over safe levels.

“We urgently need ways to reduce traffic, but in the meantime measures like these green screens can help protect young lungs.”

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