Gardening project helps pupils reap what they sow

Berwick pupils have been reaping the results of a six-month project planting vegetables from seed after harvesting their crops at The Alnwick Garden.

Sunday, 24th September 2017, 08:40 am
Updated Wednesday, 27th September 2017, 10:39 am
Former St Cuthberts R.C. First School pupils who attended the Roots and Shoots event at Alnwick Garden. Picture by Jane Coltman

The former St Cuthbert’s RC First School pupils, now at middle school, were among 180 children from North East schools who took part in The Roots and Shoots programme.

The project was developed by The Alnwick Garden Trust in partnership with the Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust to enable children to find out, not just how to grow vegetables, but also to learn the importance of healthy eating.

Head gardener Trevor Jones said: “We have worked with local schools and the children to teach them how to plant seeds properly, prepare a vegetable patch and sow radishes, beetroot, carrots and potatoes.

“They have all had such a lot of fun, while learning where their vegetables actually come from as opposed to seeing them in the local store or supermarket. They also get fit and healthy working on the allotments, as well as bonding together and making new friends while learning life-long skills.

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“They have really got stuck into the weeding! It has been amazing to see how far some children have come, developing a sense of pride and seeing confidence levels growing alongside the vegetables.”

The project was supported by the Shears Foundation.

Dawn Willis, senior health trainer at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The programme is a great way for children to learn about how to plant and grow fresh food that you can eat, to promote healthy eating and encourage physical activity - and above all it’s lots of fun.”