Nursery owner to open second organic nursery

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A new organic nursery will open in York in May after the owner and parents saw off opposition from council planners.


The Little Green Rascals organic nurseries introduce children to recycling, composting and collecting eggs. Nursery staff will receive a free weekly organic fruit and veg box

The £120,000 setting will be the second for owner Vanessa Warn, who opened the 240-place Little Green Rascals Organic Day Nursery at the York Maze in Elvington four years ago.

Ms Warn said the complications in opening the nursery had taken their toll. ‘It’s taken six months and £12,000, so it’s been a hard slog. But we had such great support from the parents. Everyone worked tirelessly to collect all the information we needed to fight it. We were actually scheduled to be the last item at the planning committee meeting but so many parents turned up they put us on first, it was great.’

Planners had raised concerns about traffic and road safety in the area surrounding the former Yorkshire Tourist Board office site on Tadcaster Road.

The nursery already has 45 registrations, with 150 more families expressing an interest in the 110 places.

Plans for the nursery include installing a new kitchen and set of French doors, establishing open-flow movement for children between rooms and landscaping the back garden.

little-green-rascals-2As an organic nursery, the setting will have a country theme, with a vegetable patch, chickens and a treehouse.

In common with the first Little Green Rascals nursery, the new setting will feature recycled rubber flooring, natural cleaning products and essential oils burning in the rooms.

Ms Warn, a trained homeopath, said the environmentally-friendly ethos is embedded throughout the provision. All members of staff will receive free homeopathy sessions and an organic fruit and veg box every week.

‘It’s all about giving parents choice. I really think you can be an ethical company and still be a business. You have these children in the palm of your hand, and if you get to introduce them to composting, collecting eggs and recycling from day one, it really will stick.’

The new nursery will create 20 full-time and 25 part-time jobs.

Ms Warn hopes to buy one more setting in the York area by 2016, but for now she says she is focusing on preparing her new nursery by the opening date of 12 May.

‘It’s funny, I think you just know when something’s going to happen, even when you have to fight for it. I’ve had a good feeling about this nursery, just like I did about Elvington. We’ve got such lovely plans, it’s great that we can get started because everyone’s really ready to get going.’

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