Greenbelt recently took part in the Campaign for School Gardening’s ‘Green Plan-It’ challenge, an annual educational event organised by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).
School pupils aged 11-19 are eligible to sign up for the challenge – which involves working in teams to research and design an innovative garden or green space for their school or local community.
Over the course of ten exciting weeks, the teams are tasked with producing a 3D model which demonstrates their design ideas.
Teams then present their models to a panel of horticultural judges at the end of the challenge, and compete for a number of prizes for the most creative and comprehensive designs.
Fortunately, the students are guided through this process by a horticultural mentor who can answer any questions and – hopefully – inspire the children to think deeper about the natural world.
We’re very proud that two Greenbelt staff (Customer Liaison Officer Nick Upton, and Regional Development Manager Adam Ralph) volunteered as mentors – but we’re even more proud that both teams picked up the ‘Most Innovative Garden’ design award in their regional bracket!
Over the course of ten weeks, Nick regularly visited Loughborough Grammar School in Leicester, part of the area in which he delivers guided estate meetings with new customers in his role as Greenbelt’s Customer Liaison Officer.
The pupils of Loughborough Grammar received the Most Innovative Garden award in the Leicester region for their thoughtful, reflective overhaul of an existing memorial garden space within the school, originally built to commemorate a student who had tragically died there in previous years.
“It’s been interesting working with the students,” Nick said.
“They chose to improve a memorial area where a student sadly passed away some years ago.”
In partnership with the RHS, this annual challenge represents a great opportunity to drive horticultural education and get young people thinking about hobbies and careers in the natural world.
“I just wanted to say a huge ‘thank you!’ for being our mentors this year,” said Abigail Pickersgill, the RHS Community Outreach Advisor for the East Midlands.
“I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to work with such a great bunch of people on this project. You have put so much in, for which I am really grateful.
“Your support to the teams really reflects on how great each project was. The quality of the models and presentations were excellent all round.”
This article is about Nick’s team of students from Loughborough Grammar School in Leicester.
To read about Adam’s team of students from Bingley Grammar School in West Yorkshire, click here.
If you’d like to support Greenbelt’s commitment to the Campaign for School Gardening, you can find out more about how to get involved here.