Documents: Special Interest: Gardening In England:

RHS Urges Primary Schools to get Their Grown-ups Growing
by Kirsty Kitchen
June 6, 2010

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is today launching a nationwide initiative that will bring teachers, pupils and local adults together to develop school gardens.

Part of the RHS Campaign for School Gardening, ‘Get Your Grown-ups Growing’ will run in October, with primary schools across the country planning gardening events at which parents, grandparents and other adults can join the children and have fun in the garden. Registration is now open and teachers signing up will receive a free RHS pack, including how-to guides and activity ideas, as well as seeds, posters and stickers. Every school that takes part will have the opportunity to win some fabulous prizes including woodstone planters from Marshalls plc.

As the UK’s leading gardening charity, the RHS has been running its Campaign for School Gardening since 2007. Almost three million children have already benefited, learning to care for the wider environment and lead healthier lifestyles. But many schools are still without a garden, and those that do have them need the support of their local community to keep them growing.

Graham Johnson, School Facilities Manager at Neasdon Primary School in Hull, took part in a ‘Get Your Grown-ups Growing’ pilot scheme last year:

“When we first got involved, all we had was a bare patch of unused ground. With the support and the resources provided by the RHS and the time and effort put in by parents, grandparents and other locals we’ve been able to build a 15x10 foot greenhouse and several bat boxes. We are now growing our own wheat and barley and the children are really excited about tasting bread made using ingredients from their own school garden for the first time. It’s a useful tool for introducing children to healthy eating and teaching them about where their food comes from. I would encourage all primary schools and parents to get stuck in and have a go as it’s a great opportunity to share this experience with the children and they really appreciate having their families and friends involved.”

Gordon Seabright, Acting Director General, RHS, says:

“Teachers involved in the Campaign for School Gardening, and our own research, tell us that gardening brings out the best in children, socially, emotionally and physically. It introduces them to the idea of growing their own food, caring for wildlife and learning outside the classroom.

“For many, school provides the only opportunity to get involved in gardening, and we want to make sure that as many schools as possible can create and maintain an exciting growing space. To do that, they need the support of their community and Get Your Grown-ups Growing is a great, fun way to bring in that support.”

The initiative is sponsored by Waitrose and supported by Dorset Cereals and Marshalls plc.
 
Mark Price, Waitrose Managing Director says:

“As a sponsor of the RHS Campaign for School Gardening, Waitrose fully supports the Get Your Grown-ups Growing initiative. It’s vital that young people have a better understanding of where their food comes from and they can learn in a fun way. The Campaign is a wonderful hands-on initiative for children and older people in the community to gain a real ‘field to fork’ experience.”

Get Your Grown-ups Growing has also attracted the backing of TV garden guru Alan Titchmarsh, who says:

“I got my first taste for gardening helping my grandfather on his allotment. A garden opens up an amazing experience for children as they discover new tastes, textures and sounds, and it’s vital we make sure that as many children as possible have the opportunity to enjoy that experience.”

To register or find out more, visit www.rhs.org.uk/gygg

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