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Greenfingered Rowley Regis pupils celebrate gardening triumphs
4:46pm Thursday 20th September 2012 in News
AN unused area of a Rowley Regis school playingfield is to be transformed into a major community gardening scheme after securing £100,000 of Big Lottery funding.
The community allotment project at Rowley Hall Primary School will see the creation of allotments for use by pupils and the community.
A solar-powered portable building - complete with compost toilets - will provide a training centre and there will be a wildlife area and viewing platform.
The community allotments will be designed in the shape of the Union flag to mark the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and the project will feature a recycling area, poly tunnels, mini orchard and soft fruit beds.
The driving force behind the project is the school’s outdoor education worker horticultural therapist and Forest School pratctioner Anne Bartlett.
She was thrilled to win the lottery funding, which is to be spent on the project over four years and, with help from a variety of sources including Sandwell Council ’s building partner Interserve and Peter Cox Builders, she hopes it will be up and running by next spring.
Mrs Bartlett wants to encourage young and old to take up allotment gardening and hopes to be able to sell reasonably priced vegetable boxes to frail elderly and housebound residents.
Through her passion, Rowley Hall has also been part of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Campaign for School Gardening during the last three years, with children growing fruit and vegetables.
Mrs Bartlett, who has two children at he school, Alex aged nine, and Daniel, aged six, said: “The Chinese proverb - tell me, I forget, show me, I remember, involve me, I understand - really sums up what using the garden as a teaching resource is all about.
“It also helps with behaviour - some children need a hands-on approach and teaching them outside gives them a different perspective which they take back to the classroom - it gives them a greater understanding.
“So many teachers have reported back to me about the improvements they’ve seen in their students as a result of the garden, it’s really encouraging.”