WaggonwaysWaggonways Friendship Garden

Published at 2:01 PM on 18 April, 2008

Young people from Richardson Dees Primary School have safeguarded waggonways heritage for future generations in their design of a Waggonways Friendship Garden at their school in Wallsend.

During a series of after-school clubs, children investigated the industrial role of waggonways in the past andwalked a section of Killingworth waggonway running through the Rising Sun Countryside Park.  During their walk, the children were able to see how the old industrial waggonways had changed, supporting a far more natural environment today, with a diverse range of wildlife habitats. 

Working with the North Tyneside Biodiversity Officer, the children explored the many different types of plants and animals, birds and insects to be found on their walk along the waggonways, using digital photography to record their findings.

Returning to their after-school club base, the children decided they would like to design a garden that would both reflect the heritage of waggonways past and present, and which would provide a new habitat for wildlife within the urban setting of their school. 

Working with a local artist, the children sketched, painted and modelled ideas for their garden design.  They also used various creative media, including Photoshop design software, to create artwork reflecting the heritage of waggonways past and present to be incorporated into the garden.

The Waggonways Friendship Garden is now complete at Richardson Dees Primary School, with planting chosen to encourage a wide diversity of wildlife.

Children entertained families, friends and invited guests at the official garden opening celebration on 29th November 2007.  The children’s repertoire of songs, samba drumming and dance and dance performances delighted the enthusiastic audience of all ages.

Elected Mayor for North Tyneside, John Harrison, performed the opening and dedication ceremony, congratulating the young people of Richardson Dees on their contribution and achievement in creating the Waggonways Friendship Garden as a new and lasting resource for the school and wider community.