Hartley Magazine

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David Domoney presents green-fingered school with £4,000 greenhouse for getting their grown-ups growing

David Domoney and Hartley Botanic Owner Johnny Mobasher with students from Cranberry Academy
David Domoney and Hartley Botanic Owner Johnny Mobasher with students from Cranberry Academy

TV presenter David Domoney yesterday presented Cranberry Academy, Alsager with a stunning Hartley Botanic greenhouse worth £4,000 for its fantastic effort during the fourth annual national ‘Get Your Grown-ups Growing’ initiative hosted by the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) Campaign for School Gardening.

The Cheshire-based academy devoted an entire week to a Get Your Grown-ups Growing event, challenging each class to design the best scarecrow, recycled planter, insect house and wind chimes. Volunteer grown-ups helped pupils build two raised beds, as well as plant 100 spring bulbs, 100 onions sets and 30-40 peas.

Of their victory, Teaching Assistant, Jane Sawdon said; “We are delighted and excited to have won this year’s RHS Get Your Grown-ups Growing. Our future plans for our outdoor learning and garden development involves planting a 14 tree fruit orchard, installing water butts and compost bins, planting soft fruit, shrubs, potatoes and vegetables. We also intend to be part of Alsager in Bloom 2014.


“Winning the greenhouse will allow us to realise and develop our dream that each child within our school will have the opportunity to feel, watch, smell, and taste home-grown fruit and vegetables. We want to ensure that all our children develop skills to sow, grow, harvest and cook their own food. We can’t wait to get started on this adventure!”

Throughout October, a record number of schools across the UK rallied local grown-ups to help put together an event for Get Your Grown-ups Growing 2013. Friends and family were encouraged to sow seeds, plant bulbs and build and maintain raised beds, as well as take part in fundraising events, gardening games and fruit and vegetable tasting.

More than 1,900 schools signed up to the initiative, each receiving a free support pack containing four packs of Marshalls seeds, stickers, posters and useful event ideas and information. Adding further excitement, a grand prize of Hartley Botanic Wisley 8 greenhouse worth £4,000 was offered to the school that held the most inspiring event.


The school was presented the greenhouse by TV presenter and supporter of the RHS Campaign for School Gardening, David Domoney who said; “Cranberry Academy put on a really inspiring event and managed to involve the whole school together with parents and volunteers from the local community. When speaking with the teachers, their passion for gardening and outdoor learning is very apparent and this was reflected in the amount of effort they all put in to make their Get Your Grown-ups Growing week a roaring success.

“Gardening can have an amazing impact on a child, allowing them to explore new skills and express themselves in a way they may not be able to in a classroom environment. I’m a huge supporter of the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and Get Your Grown-ups Growing is just one way the campaign can help to encourage schools, and also the community, to discover the fun that can be had outside, as well as the benefits that gardening can have to a child’s future development.”

Get Your Grown-ups Growing began in 2009 as a small project in Yorkshire and has developed into a huge national campaign. Schools Communications Officer, RHS Campaign for School Gardening, Alana Tapsell, said; “Gardens are incredibly valuable to schools and can really help pupils develop skills and get closer to the environment they live in. Keeping a garden maintained can be a challenge when trying to fit in time around lessons in the classroom. Hosting events such as these is a fantastic way to encourage the community to pitch in, share knowledge and resources and keep things growing.”


The competition has now opened for 2014 and schools can apply for their support pack at rhs.org.uk/gygg where they will also find tips on choosing suitable activities and handy materials to help promote their event successfully.

This year, a selection of lucky schools will win an RHS trained member of staff to attend and help out at their event and one lucky school will receive a visit from David Domoney.


We have had some fantastic pictures from the Teachers at Cranberry Academy, showing off the childrens fantastic growing achievements and Teaching Assistant Jane Sawdon sent us this note:

Dear Hartley
As promised, I have attached some photographs of the green house in early July. The tomato plants are still fruiting now. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you again, for donating the greenhouse as a prize for the RHS GYGG scheme and to share with you how this has impacted on children’s learning at Cranberry.

This year, at Cranberry, all the children are now having an Outdoor Learning lesson each week. This, of course includes gardening. So far this year (Since September) the children have tested our soil to see if we grow in sandy soil, loan or clay, make seed spacing sticks and plant labels and learnt how to weed. Over the next couple of weeks, they will be dissecting seeds, bulbs and experimenting with different growing conditions. The Hartley Wisley 8 Greenhouse will be used in this experiment!!!

Many thanks again

Jane Sawdon and Cranberry Academy