A PRESCHOOL in Christchurch has won a national award and received £1,000 after transforming the playground into a wildlife haven.

Chewton Glen Playgroup in Highcliffe are the recipients of The School Garden category of the Cultivation Street awards, which were announced in September.

Over the past few months, the group of green-fingered children and their teachers have been busy digging, planting and growing flowers and plants in their tarmacked playgroup to turn it into a colourful and vibrant sanctuary.

Playgroup owner Helen Dow said: “We didn't think we would win; it is just something that the children and staff are passionate about.

“Being outdoors is so important for young children and we entered the competition as an extra.

“We are all so pleased to have won and, with the money, we are going to set up an orchard.”

The preschool were given bags of Miracle Gro compost and had to do something special with them.

Children built planters from Duplo and then planted various flowers and plants in them to liven up the entrance to their playgroup building.

Large car tyres were repurposed and placed around the outside of the building to make planters and a greenhouse was also donated to help with the growing of plants during the winter months.