Hartley Magazine

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Local Primary School Wins Greenhouse in RHS Competition


Hook Lane Primary School, in Kent, has won a greenhouse from Hartley Botanic, worth £2500 for staging the most ‘inspiring’ Get Your Growing event. They will be holding a photocall on Friday 4 May, at 9am.

Part of RHS Campaign for School Gardening, Get Your Grown-Ups Growing is an initiative designed to encourage adults to get involved in school gardening, after an RHS survey found that parents are lagging behind when it comes to gardening knowledge.

Hook Lane Primary School has now been a member of the RHS Campaign for School Gardening for a considerable amount of time . The Campaign encourages schools to develop gardens to be used as teaching resources, helping pupils to learn outside the classroom.

In October last year, a record 1329 schools held Get Your Grown Ups Growing events and 226 schools submitted a 100 word description of their event.

These submissions were judged by the RHS, who decided the winner based on how inspiring the event sounded.Hook Lane Primary School was the winner and 25 runners have received prize packs from CJ Wildlife containing a plastic feeder, a 5kg feeder seed and a food storage bin, for their school garden.

The Tradition 8 Greenhouse, as won by the school.

The school’s winning statement said:

We had a family event, with enthusiastic siblings and parents coming along to help improve our school garden. We managed to install 3 new raised beds, weed and replant 3 existing beds, re-felt the shed roof, install guttering and a water butt, and build and fill a compost bin!

“The impending October darkness didn’t dampen spirits and work continued until we couldn’t see anymore. Highlights included watching students and parents work together to solve problems, seeing students learn from community gardeners and former students, and seeing the delight on one 5-year-old’s face as she tasted her first homegrown tomato.

Liz Doherty, who runs the school gardening club at Hook Lane Primary School, said:

“We are absolutely thrilled to have received the greenhouse from Hartley Botanic – the children love it and it makes life much easier.

“I’ve been working with the children in the garden for several years now and they get so much out of it. It’s fun, accessible to everyone and they get to learn while they have fun – it’s perfect, and the addition of the green-house has made it even better, so thanks to both the RHS and Hartley Botanic.”

‘It’s so important to get grand-parents and parents gardening with the kids so we will definitely be getting involved with Get Your Grown-Ups Growing again later this year!’

Jacky Chave, Strategic Schools Manager, RHS, said:

“Congratulations to Hook Lane Primary School. Having a school garden is a fantastic asset for teachers and pupils as it provides a multitude of learning opportunities, but we know it can take a lot of hard work to maintain.

“By involving parents and other local adults, through an event like Get Your Grown-ups Growing, we hope that school gardens will be looked after all year round, and enthusiasm for gardening and growing will spread beyond the school gates and into children’s homes.”

Hartley Managing Director, Johnny Mobasher, said: ‘We are delighted to support the RHS’ important schools campaign and look forward to hearing how the pupils at this year’s winning school develop their growing skills under glass.’

A survey, commissioned by the UK’s leading gardening charity, asked 500 parents, grandparents and primary school-aged children about their gardening habits, to discover if there is a ‘lost generation of gardeners’. The survey found that fewer than 1% of parents were taught to garden while at school, compared to 55% of grandparents and 40% of children.

Get Your Grown Ups Growing, is part of the RHS Campaign for School Gardening, and was launched by the RHS in October 2009 and is a month-long drive to get parents and the wider community to support school gardening. To find out more please visit: www.rhs.org.uk/schoolgardening.

School children outside their prize