School to grow new allotment thanks to region's cannabis criminals
A Black Country school is set to grow a new allotment thanks to donations by unwitting criminals.
Edgar Stammers primary school in Walsall has been given soil, plant pots and a water sprayer to help with its latest project – all of which have been seized from cannabis farms by police.
The school is one of more than 30 community projects to benefit from criminals' seized garden equipment in just over a year.
The equipment is donated by West Midlands Police's cannabis disposal team, who seize all the gardening tools they can when carrying out cannabis farm raids.
The team's lead, Mike Hall, said: "We have been making such donations for a number of years now and it is pleasing that pupils and staff at Edgar Stammers will benefit from the gardening equipment.
"We try to help as many as we can as it's a win-win situation, creating something good from bad. We're not only immediately keeping our communities safe through tackling drug crime but helping our communities by supporting their own longer-term projects.
"We cleared more than 300 cannabis farms in the last 12 months and just shows the hard work being done by police to keep drugs off the streets."
After donating the soil and plant pots, Mr Hall and his team has now vowed to find the school a new wheelbarrow after theirs was stolen recently when their garden shed was broken into.
Edgar Stammers headteacher Rebecca Woodall said: "We are very grateful for the donation as our pupils want to develop our grounds and try to grow their own flowers and vegetables.
"In today's financial climate, even doing simple things costs us money that we do not have, so these donations make a huge difference.
"Our pupils gain so much from being outdoors and we want to give them a school to be proud of and to nurture."
The school runs both an eco club and a gardening club for its students.