Gardening project takes root


Benfield School was awarded a grant for a group of Year 9 pupils to improve a neglected area within the school grounds. Lewis Girdlestone, one of the students involved, takes up the story.

"I took part in the ASDAN project for two hours every week. In the first lesson we discussed what we wanted to get out of the project. Personally, I wanted to learn some new gardening skills and the others wanted to learn how to put up a flower bed correctly. At the second lesson we decided which personal protective equipment we'd need for the project and we purchased these from B&Q. We bought shovels, trowels, protective gloves, protective boots and gardening forks.

"Our idea was to transform a very plain-looking gardening area into somewhere that young people at Benfield School could use and enjoy. We soon realised that there was a lot of work to do and we had to prioritise our jobs. Our first job list was:

  • pick up all the litter
  • clean up the compost bin
  • clear all the weeds (there were lots of them!)
  • clean all of the leaves
  • star to construct the flower beds
  • start putting the hanging baskets up

"Although our hard work was damaged and flooded due to the extreme weather, we loved working on this project and gained lots of new skills. We learnt the names of the plants, and we learned about personal protective equipment and manual handling. I was able to start a module from the PSD qualification about the environment - I hope to complete the full award and explore other modules.

"We are ready to start this project again this year. This time we have all the equipment ready, including hanging baskets and plants. Students from primary schools in the area will be able to get involved with the transition garden and we'll gain valuable experience by fulfilling the role of mentors and buddies."