A huge “living wall” – comprising a mixture of herbs, plants and “bug hotels” – has been installed in the playground of a Sutton school.

The massive 54-metre structure was put in at Robin Hood Junior School, in Thorncroft Road, while pupils were on their latest half-term holidays.

When they came back they spent time outside “investigating” the different plants and herb scents, while looking more closely at the “bug hotels” to see if any new tenants had arrived.

A combination of English ivy, Euonymus fortunei, Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides), as well as two varieties of Clematis, were used for the screens.

A mix of smaller plants were also planted, using a total of 20 different species in the screen and its base.

It’s hoped the schoolchildren can now use it to learn about ecosystems and the natural environment, but also have a better understanding of horticulture and where their food comes from.

Robin Hood Junior School headteacher Elisabeth Broers said seeing the new structure has been the “highlight of her year so far”.

She added: “It exceeded my expectations in every way and is just fantastic. I love the variety of planting, the herbs and the bug boxes are already attracting interest from children – no doubt the bugs will follow suit soon!

“It changes the whole atmosphere of the playground – one of the children said to me today ‘We’re like the real Robin Hood because now we are in a forest.”

The school worked with Sutton Council’s pollution control team to come up with a “green screen” initiative to cut down exposure to air pollution for children in the playground.

Contractors Meristem then used the half-term holidays to install 60 metres of pre-grown ivy screens into “bespoke” planters with their own irrigation system.

In time, this should see the ivy grow up the metal fencing structure provided and improve the “day-to-day air quality”, but also support the school’s science curriculum.

Robin Hood Junior School was one of three schools to have the “green screen” installed by Meristem, with the initiative being funded by the Mayor of London’s Air Quality Fund.