Garden Plans for Schools

HGT launch an ‘Edible Playground’ project in Winchester 

We are delighted to announce our major new education initiative – Garden Plans for Schools. Under this initiative, HGT provides the design, implementation and long term sustainability of an ‘Edible Playground’.  Using experience gained during this year’s pilot scheme, we will create a template for our ‘Garden Plans for Schools’ to inspire and roll out to other schools throughout Hampshire.

The Background

There are countless charities whose aim is to improve children’s connection with the natural world, promote outdoor learning and develop growing skills for life. Many primary schools have set up garden projects, no doubt utilising the numerous and often overwhelming resources available. Started and run by enthusiastic teachers and parents, the maintenance and sustainability of these projects can be a challenge.  Without sufficient horticultural knowledge, guidance and particularly time, these projects often fail and become unusable. A great opportunity wasted.

At a meeting with HGT President Gilly Drummond and Rachel Foster,  Head Gardener at Patrick’s Patch, Beaulieu we agreed that professional horticultural input would help ensure the sustainability of school garden projects. Creating thriving and dynamic environments for children to learn about the natural world through horticultural practice.  

We have now launched our first ‘Edible Playground’ project at Oliver’s Battery Primary School, Winchester. Spearheaded by Wisley-trained gardener, Ruth Farley. 

Our plan is based on these key project goals:-

1.  Inspire a love of horticulture, gardens and landscapes.

2.  Help provide curriculum-based education grounded in nature.

3.  Promote healthy living and eating by connecting children with their food.

4.  Ensure a horticulture professional is appointed to underpin each project.

Oliver’s Battery Primary School, Winchester

This school has a forward thinking Head Teacher, Mrs Carly Redfern, along with an Outdoor Teaching Lead, Mrs Charlotte Homewood, and a very active and capable PTA chaired by Mrs Shona Chalmers. 

Already running a successful ‘Forest School’ in a wooded area of the grounds, the school has other outdoor spaces with superb potential.

The school’s PTA were already keen to make a productive garden and we have been able to help advise them. The HGT Trustees have agreed to provide funds, matched by the PTA, to cover a weekly session for a skilled gardener to launch, advise and ensure maintenance of the scheme.

 Follow our progress on Instagram @SowYummyFood