It’s officially spring and pupils at Chorleywood Primary Schooi are getting into gardening again led by Gardening Club Guru Claire Davies. Projects planned for the next couple of months include the creation of a kitchen garden at the front of the school and planting scores of trees
“ It’s all very exciting” says Claire, “420 trees arrived a few weeks ago, donated by the Woodland Trust as part of their tree pack scheme where trees are supplied free to groups that want to improve their local environment. Over 30 children and adults are involved in making it happen and lots of the saplings will be planted on rough patches of ground.”
The trees, all native broadleaved species, will grow into a flourishing young wood in as little as 10 years and not only improve the school environment but also attract wildlife.
“The UK has just 13% woodland cover compared to a European average of 44% and the trees we do have are under increasing threat from diseases and development.“ adds John Tucker, Woodland Trust Director of Woodland Creation, “By teaming up with communities like Chorleywood Primary school Gardening Club, the Woodland Trust hopes to double our native woodland cover and enrich our landscape for generations to come.”
“ We are also building a kitchen garden at the front of the school “ says Claire, “ Nine tons of slate arrived which we will spread to segregate the area, it has so much more appeal than tarmac. We are creating raised beds with the help of Peter Charlton of P C Landscapes using mulch and topsoil, contained within log walls. I managed to fund it with a grant via Caterlink who run our school catering.
We are having so much help with our projects. Our local Waitrose is also donating a fruit and veg growing kit then there will be a day in store with the pupils selling their home grown produce. It’s all brilliant!”
The Waitrose Grow and Sell scheme is aimed at inspiring 7-11 year olds to grow their own produce during the summer months and help get their school veg patches up and running. In the process the children learn where food comes from and develop entrepreneurial skills. The kits, supplied by family business, Seed Pantry, contains vegetable seeds, equipment, step-by-step growing instructions and wild flower seeds which will help boost the number of bees, butterflies and other pollinators in school hedgerows.
There are badges for children to designate roles for both the growing and selling elements of the scheme.