Hedges Direct helps Channel 4 protect school from pollution

Euxton-based Hedges Direct was called on by Channel 4's Dispatches to help save a London primary school children from overwhelming pollution.

The specialist online suppliers of hedging and garden plants partnered with Green-tech to supply the TV series with ivy screens and other garden plants in support of a ground-breaking experiment at Lordship Lane Primary School in London.

The programme, which aired on June 10, documented a two-week experiment which saw the school undergo changes both externally and internally to attempt to combat the effects of pollution throughout. The levels of both Nitrogen Dioxide from exhaust fumes and other particulate matter from brakes and tyres produced by all vehicles (including electric), were measured before and after for comparison.

Prior to the experiment, the Nitrogen Dioxide levels and other particulates around the school were found to be over 50 per cent higher than ‘acceptable’ levels.

For the external anti-pollution measures, the Hedera Helix Ivy Screens, 1.8m high by 1.2m wide supplied by Hedges Direct, were installed as a perimeter solution around the school exterior to attempt to absorb sooty particles from traffic pollution and provide cleaner air for the children when spending time outside.

A garden was also created in the playground area featuring various evergreen hedging plants to help supplement this.

Ivy screens and other planting options can provide an immediate improvement in air quality.

At the end of the two-week period, pollution levels had reduced by as much as 53 per cent.

Anna Kettley, director of programmes for UNICEF, called for a national strategy with ring-fenced funding so that action can be taken on what she deemed a ‘major child health crisis’, with 86 per cent of children now breathing toxic air as a result of ‘persistent and illegal breaches of the UK Air Pollution Limits’.

The company said: "For schools and nurseries in heavily trafficked areas across the UK, of which there are more than 2,000 that fall into high or illegal levels of pollution areas, ivy screens and other planting options can not only be cost-effective but more importantly can provide an immediate improvement in air quality, as evidenced in the programme." Hedges Direct has a long history of supporting external projects.

In addition to supporting Channel 4’s Dispatches, Hedges Direct has been a long-term supplier to ITV’s ‘Love Your Garden’ for numerous garden projects, BBC’s DIY SOS and to medal winning RHS Gardens created by students and young designers.