Gatehouse Primary Peace Garden

13th May 2015 by Casey, Fergus and Ryan.H.

12 Pupils with assistance from Lusi Alderslowe and Karen Slattery, have been designing and creating a peace garden at the back of the school.

We are building a peace garden so that the children of Gatehouse school have a place to peacefully interact with each other and to learn about their surroundings and so that children for many years will be able to find a place to relax and be at peace in the school.

We have already started planting the peace garden and we hope it will be finished by the end of December, with an opening ceremony in the spring.

We started by mapping and planning where it will go and creating a design. We then roped off the area no longer to be cut grass, and laid out a sheet mulch. We created a beautiful bog garden. We will make the peace garden with team-work and a little help from our friends and community and also our school.

We are open to suggestions and would appreciate donations of plants and wood for building, as well as bamboo, shells, nails and screws, trees and tree guards, seeds and plants (especially ones that are edible or that smell nice and are good for wildlife). 

We feel excited about the idea of having a peace garden and hope that the community will have a chance to be involved in some of the events that we may have in it.

Update in September 2015 By Lusi Alderslowe

We have been creating the peace garden for some months. We are particularly grateful to the following for donations of money, plants and materials:

the Ernest Cook Trust, Potting Shed, Cally Gardens, Franca Bruno, Galloway Lodge, Gatehouse Store, Masonic Lodge, Jim Logan, Cara Gillespie, The Woodlands Trust and the Forestry Commission.

Please look at some of our photos of the process which we have created, there you can spot some of the things we have been doing, including creating a beautiful bog garden, sheet mulching, sowing wildflower seeds, creating paths, making signs, planting plants, and harvesting food.

We are still looking for donations of plants, especially the following:

Herbs, such as lavender, chives, thyme, Marjoram, marigold, Honesty, mint, verbena, Edible Forest Garden -

Perennials including: fruit trees (medlar, quince), currants, berries, comfrey, roses, alkanet, ice plant, primrose, teasel, cornflower, sloe (blackthorn), Verbena Bonariensis, violets, sorrel, walnut

Wildflower meadow seeds for creating a wildflower meadow. e.g. Yellow rattle, Field Scabious, Lady's Bedstraw, Lesser Knapweed, Meadow Buttercup, Meadowsweet, Ox-eye Daisy, Red Campion, Self Heal, Greater Burnet, Yarrow se.

Plants for butterflies, caterpillars and bees: e.g. Buddleia, honeysuckle, heather, Perennial Wallflower (Bowles Mauve), Common Rock Rose, Storks Bill

Below are the outcomes for the pupils which we expect from this innovative project:

  • To raise awareness of environmental sustainability, how one action can have multiple effects on the world – each workshop to be topped and tailed with this perspective.
  • Links with Allanton World Peace Sanctuary and global network of peace gardens
  • Increase in quiet reflection
  • Increase in global citizenship
  • Decrease in violent behaviour during breaks due to an increase in spaces to be in, and creative pursuits to be involved in
  • Children become aware of the effect they can have on the whole planet through small actions of their own
  • Children improve in literacy, numeracy, science and rural skills and crafts
  • More biodiversity in the school grounds
  • Fresh air and exercise


  • More children eating local, organic food
  • More food is composted, reducing food waste and carbon emissions  increased knowledge of how to save seeds, grow and harvest our own food, and cook it on a fire
  • Understanding of and empathy with children in other countries who grow their own food and cook on an outdoor fire
  • Empowerment of children through enabling them to understand how a small thing which they can do can have impacts in other parts of the world and thus raising environmental awareness
  • Changing habits at an early age - such as composting (in our wormery), reducing paper waste, growing food, saving seeds, - can create good habits for life.
  • Creative approach to learning and the multiple benefits of children learning outdoors, engaged in practical hand-on activities. Relation to the Curriculum & ECT interests ◦ literacy – creating signs (researching as well as writing), evaluating project and reporting on it ◦ numeracy – mapping, weighing, measuring, planting trees (distances, areas) ◦ science – cooking food on fire (and links with other countries), growing food (including companion planting), biology ◦ rural skills and crafts – dry stone dyke; herbs; making/sculpting benches, creating signs, growing food, preserving (e.g. jams & chutneys), and seed saving ◦ arts – using photography and video to create a short film