Junior school Ysgol Egsob Morgan in Denbighshire, Wales, has run an Eco Club for five years. Pupils grow a wide array of vegetables and have planted over 800 trees on the school site.
Teacher Richard Hatwood told us that all activities are led by the children and they are represented on the Eco Committee. They put forward their ideas to develop the school garden.
In recent years they have fundraised to have a new school pond developed, have a new allotment built and launch a chicken project.
The chicken project has been a huge success and the children are now offering their eggs to parents and guardians for a small donation. This helps pupils cover their costs and even purchase additional chickens.
Ysgol Egsob Morgan is a five star RHS school, and so has a commitment to coaching. The older children teach the younger ones how to tend the land, look after the animals and harvest the crops.
This year the children displayed some of the vegetables they had grown at Tatton Flower Show, and came in second place at the judging. Richard says they were inspired by the other displays and have started entering lots of competitions.
The students also love to take their gardening out into the community and have built a new wildlife garden alongside the river Elwy.
Richard says “Students don’t just turn up for Eco Club once a week for an hour – they come to school at 8am to look after their gardens, they use break times, lunchtimes and most evenings after school to garden too.”
“Developing our Eco Club has done wonders to encourage all children in learning about the outdoors.”
Ysgol Egsob Morgan has won the Cultivation School prize – £2000 of National Garden Gift Vouchers.
Judges were impressed by the variety of activities that the children do, and their enthusiasm about taking gardening out to the community. They liked the focus of sustainability in the Eco Club, and the presence of a pupil-led committee.
They also hailed it as an example of how school gardening can be used to teach children about the outdoors in general, rather than simply growing plants.
Judges also acknowledged Richard’s enthusiasm – he sent regular updates from Eco Club and engaged with the campaign online.