Pupils celebrate a growing love for gardening

Beccles Free School pupils share their new garden with parents and (fourth from right) volunteer gar

Beccles Free School pupils share their new garden with parents and (fourth from right) volunteer gardener Jim Miles. - Credit: Archant

Beccles Free School pupils have been transforming their school garden during a weekly enrichment club.

Working with volunteer gardener Jim Miles, the pupils have designed and planted the garden themselves and are now harvesting their own vegetables and herbs for the school kitchen. Since 2012, Mr Miles has been hosting the gardening club for groups at Beccles Free School, to help them discover a love for planting and spending time with nature.

The once empty garden is now flourishing with flowers, shrubs, vegetables and herbs and is a place where pupils can learn more about planting and growing outdoors.

The school is now working towards achieving the gold Food for Life Catering Mark for actively encouraging pupils to grow and cook their own food, and for serving healthy school lunches using local ingredients.

Headteacher Nigel Youngman said: “Gardening is an excellent learning opportunity and it has helped students to develop a real appreciation for plants, and a greater understanding of how to grow and cook their own seasonal produce. I’m pleased to see that students have shown such commitment to making our garden a beautiful place for students to enjoy.”

Mr Miles, who worked as a London park gardener in the 1960s, said: “It’s great to work with young people who have just as much fun growing things as I do. Gardening is a skill for life and I cannot think of anything better than helping the students to work together, to make their outdoor space somewhere for all to enjoy.”

And Beccles Free School is now inviting local green-fingered volunteers to join them once a week to help maintain the garden.