Little green fingers transform their Watton school garden

Pupils at Watton Infants School have created a new garden as part of their Gardening Club. Picture:

Pupils at Watton Infants School have created a new garden as part of their Gardening Club. Picture: Matthew Usher.

A gang of green-fingered youngsters has knuckled down to transform their school's forlorn garden into a thriving wildlife and plant haven.

Pupils at Watton Infants School have created a new garden as part of their Gardening Club. Picture:

Pupils at Watton Infants School have created a new garden as part of their Gardening Club. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The gardening club at Watton Westfield Infant School and Nursery has spent three months weeding, planting and pruning to reinvent its small horticultural corner.

Under the direction of reception teacher Chris Hansford, the 60-strong club created a vegetable and fruit patch, which is already bearing produce, herb and flower gardens and a bug hotel.

Mr Hansford said he rekindled the group, made up of Year 1 and 2 pupils, after the school in West Road decided to apply for Green Flag status, a measure of its eco-friendliness. The club was so successful he now runs three sessions a week with help from his wife Fiona.

He said: 'Just a simple thing like getting a plant out of a pot is a big achievement for the kids. It is all good practice, and a lot of their parents have said they are helping out more in the garden at home, which is really nice to hear.


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'There are a lot of children who may not do that well academically, but they really enjoy this sort of stuff.

'They can see the progress each week. When they come back in September there will be lots of vegetables ready, and they will have come full circle,' he said.

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Local companies including Norfolk Herbs in Dereham, Walnut Tree Nurseries in Rockingham, Jewsons in Watton, and Frimstone Quarry in Carbrooke offered donations to the school.

Once the garden was completed, the school held an open day for parents to have a look around and gardening club members were presented with certificates.

To continue its growth, the school has applied for a grant to purchase a greenhouse, a new fence and a shed.

Is your school developing a garden for the pupils? Email bethany.whymark@archant.co.uk

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