Pupils’ green break-time

Pupils Lucy Hulme (runner-up), Jard Wahed (winner), Joshua Hilton (winner) and Jack Murden (runner-up) with the new wildlife bench.
Pupils Lucy Hulme (runner-up), Jard Wahed (winner), Joshua Hilton (winner) and Jack Murden (runner-up) with the new wildlife bench.

PUPILS can now take a fresh-air break in the playground thanks to a ground-breaking green transport system.

Two oak logs reclaimed during the site clearance for the new guided busway have been transformed into a bench featuring carvings of woodland animals including an owl, mole, butterfly, worm and ladybird donated by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM).

Year 4 pupils at St Thomas CE Primary School in Leigh joined in the carving session after taking part in a writing competition all about the busway – which will link Leigh, Atherton and Tyldesley with Manchester.

This follows a presentation to pupils from TfGM’s Project and Engagement team about the benefits of the busway and how to travel and live in an environmentally friendly way.

Two competition winners were chosen – Jard Wahed and Joshua Hilton, along with two runners-up, Lucy Hulme and Jack Murden.

Class teacher, Sarah Currie, said the shcool was delighted to work with TfGM regarding the guided busway.

She said: “They came into school to talk to our year 4 classes and listened to the children’s concerns and answered their many questions. As one of the class teachers, I was hugely proud of the quality and effort that the children put into writing their busway essays. As part of the work TfGM did with our school, they donated a log from Lilwood Woods which was exceptionally carved into a bench: a long term reminder for us of the work the children did and the time and effort TfGM put into one of our local schools.”

Transport for Greater Manchester’s Head of Programme Management Services Peter Boulton said: “It’s great to see young people from the area getting so involved with the project. The busway is all about providing quicker, environmentally friendly transport links in the area and onwards to Manchester city centre. It’s great to see how much pupils at St Thomas care about the local environment.

“We’ve reassured them about all the work we are doing to protect local wildlife and replant trees in the area.

“We want young people to be the public transport passengers of the future and they’ve certainly taken to heart our lesson about the benefits of sustainable travel for the environment.”

When it opens in two years time, the bus route will provide quicker transport links to Manchester.