University opens £4.4m carbon neutral nursery

Staffordshire University has opened the doors to its £4.4m Woodlands Day Nursery and Forest School in Stoke-on-Trent.

Children and parents/guardians attended a series of transition sessions at the new purpose build facility ahead of the move from Winton Square, the longstanding former home of the university’s nursery provision.

The nursery, which is the university’s first carbon neutral building, is set next to a woodland and nature reserve on the university’s Leek Road site.

The university said the building had achieved carbon neutral status partly because of roof lights that are designed to flood the space with natural light to reduce the need for artificial lighting.

It also has solar panels and air source heat pumps, which suck in outdoor air and pass it over tubes containing refrigerant fluids to produce heat.

Sally McGill, chief financial officer and deputy chief executive, said: “We’re delighted that the nursery school is having such a positive impact, both with the children and families using it, and also with staff and partners in relation to its sustainable design.

“As the first carbon neutral building on the Staffordshire University Campus, the Woodlands Day Nursery and Forest School is a facility that supports the community and the next generation, through learning, teaching, and embedding the University’s ambitions for a more sustainable future. We look forward to the opportunities and experiences this exciting new facility will bring to children and schools in the local area.”

Amanda Sherratt, head of childcare and family services at Staffordshire University, added: “It’s fair to say that the staff, children and families are loving our new home and have settled in well. The facility brings a unique and authentic outdoor experience to children in a safe and enriching environment.”

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