Green fingers go for gold

By Mark Elson in Local People

GARDEN Club leader Helen Price has been named as one of just four finalists in the RHS School Gardening Champion of the Year competition.

Helen has been gardening with pupils at Woolaston Primary School for more than 25 years, first as a reception teacher and then as the founder of the school’s thriving gardening club, known as the Gardening Gang.

A spokesperson for the school said: “In just one year, the gang has created borders for the playground, built a bug hotel, planted trees, made compost and grown flowers and vegetables from seed.

“Its achievements were recognised by second place in the school gardens category at Monmouth Show in 2016 and by the RHS School Garden Awards Level 3 certificate.”

Helen’s latest project involves reclaiming the school’s derelict swimming pool area. With the help of dedicated parent volunteers and the Army Outreach Team South West (OUTSW), years of bramble growth and tons of cement are being transformed into a productive garden with raised beds and polytunnels to benefit the entire school.

The raised beds were donated by local engineering firm Mabey Bridge and Sergeant Dan McCouaig (Rifles) and his team from OUTSW are helping the school as part of the unit’s community engagement.

As a finalist in the RHS competition, Helen has already won a cold frame, digital camcorder, a place on an RHS school gardening course and £250 in gardening vouchers for the school.

For the next stage of the competition, the Gardening Gang must submit a short video, highlighting the children’s enjoyment of gardening at school and how it has inspired them to garden at home.

If Helen wins, the school will get £100 worth of seeds, a further £250 in gardening vouchers, a VIP visit to the school and tickets for two adults and four children to visit Hampton Court Palace Flower Show or Tatton Park Flower Show.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony at RHS Wisley on 1 July.

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