It took her only an hour to draw, but the nature garden designed by eight-year-old Emma Deadman at St Phillips Primary School in Cambridge took contractor BAM three days of hard but charitable labour to build. And it has established her as Britain’s youngest ever landscape gardener. Inside the garden, all the things Emma visualised in her drawing have been delivered by the BAM team. There’s a pond with a dipping platform, a bird bath, bird feeders, a hedgehog home, bat and bird boxes, a bee log, butterfly attracting plants, miniature fruit trees and a woodchip path with log stepping stones. Emma’s success in having her garden design realised came about because BAM was building the Laboratory of Molecular Biology close to the Addenbrooke’s hospital campus. The design team behind what will be one of the world’s most advanced research facilities approached St Phillips’ School and invited children between seven and nine to design a garden in order to help them develop skills. Emma, from Romsey Town in Cambridge, emerged as the competition winner, and BAM built her garden free of charge. Emma is delighted with the garden. She says, ‘I like the pond the best as it looks great when you are walking around. I hope to see plenty of frogs as I like them the best. I think it looks like my design and I think the garden will be great as it means we can learn about bugs and nature and then go and see and learn about them in the garden’. The School, which benefits from Emma’s success, was also pleased with the initiative. Joanna Hodgson, phase leader for St Phillips, said, ‘Involving children in the design process fired their imaginations and inspired them to look at the environment. Now we have a space for outdoor learning across the curriculum. Because the children designed it and will maintain it during classes and extra curricular activities it will contribute to their lifelong learning. The partnership with BAM has been phenomenal and their enthusiasm for the project really excited the children giving them insight into different careers.’ BAM – which has built over 130 UK schools in the past ten years alone – has a team of education co-ordinators who inspire community projects such as this. BAM’s Education & Community Coordinator for the South East, Elena Goodspeed, added ‘At BAM we think that how we build is as important as what we build, and part of that is helping others through the work we do. Construction is a fantastic learning tool, and we are delighted the children at St Phillips have enjoyed this exercise and that it has contributed to their curriculum.’ Emma’s success forms the latest in a series of challenges posed to Britain’s pupils by the giant property and construction group. It is currently hosting a national poetry competition themed on woodlands with Amazon Kindles as prizes and every year it hosts a garden design challenge for schools in Malvern.