AN ambitious project by Lydford Primary School to raise enough funds to buy extra land around the school is taking shape.

Principal Adam Hill said this week that the school was closing in on its fundraising target to purchase some land around the school to benefit pupils, staff, parents and the whole community.

The £25,000 purchase will provide additional environmental space, car parking and a community scheme likely to be a library.

So far the Friends of Lydford School (FoLS) has committed £5,714 to the purchase. The Lydford Community Group has raised just under £7,000 and is expecting that to rise to £9,000 before the end of the year. These funds, along with £12,000 committed from Dartmoor Multi-Academy Trust which runs the school, would enable the purchase.

The next stage will be development, which the school will be funding through grants.

Mr Hill said: ‘We are enormously grateful to the many supporters who are helping to make this plan a reality. Thanks to the hugely generous support of the Friends of Lydford School, Lydford Community Group and Dartmoor Multi-Academy Trust, we are closing in on our fundraising target, and are therefore hopeful that our plans to purchase a substantial portion of land around the school will be able to progress.

‘This land will, in turn, be developed into a wide range of useful and engaging spaces for the entire school community. While there are still a number of steps to go, we are all hugely excited by the prospect of the development and can’t wait for our students to benefit from even more green space.’

Money has been raised through weekly cake raffles, discos, parties, the sale of teas, coffees and refreshments and a pub walk. Lydford House had an open gardens event and tickets are being sold for Lydford Lights at the same venue which offers indulgence in all that is festive and Christmassy from musical performances, to food and drink stalls and children’s activities on November 19.

Mr Hill said the school had a very generous playing space for its 40 pupils and a well developed Forest School but it was moving from just being school based to community based.

Currently parents had to park on the road to drop off and pick up children so a car parking area was part of the scheme, either as a landscaped area or rubber matting, he said.

The principal added that on the footprint of the old shed they wanted to build a log cabin that could be a library or community meeting space.

The rest of the land would be given over to environmental space for recreation and education.