Former Blue Peter gardener and a patron of Trees for Cities, Chris Collins officially opens Hitherfield Primary School’s edible playground today. He’s also helping the children plant 20 Cordon apple trees while school governors, parents and children explore the garden for the first time.
The project, part of Trees for Cities’ Edible Playground programme, integrates outdoor learning into the school curriculum by giving city kids the chance to grow, nurture, harvest, cook and eat fruit and vegetables. The idea is to sow a seed of interest in food and gardening into school children and hope it will grow into excitement about the food they eat, benefiting their education as well as their health and well-being.
Hitherfield Primary School has big ambitions to:
- expand their wildlife area
- set up a kitchen garden
- and maybe even have some livestock
They are also hope to support and inspire other schools in the borough to take on similar projects.
Ambitions this big, don’t come cheap, so the fact the community is firmly behind them has been key to getting this project off the ground. Supporters include:
- Marsh UK
- Goldman Sachs
- Nicholas Bacon Charitable Trust
- Streatham Action Group (supported by the Mayor of London).
- London Door Company
- Brooks estate agents in Streatham
- B&Q (West Norwood branch).
Chris Ashley-Jones, Head of Hitherfield Primary school says, “Since the start of the Edible Playground, the children are far more interested in food and growing. Over the last 6 months, the whole school community has been busy raising funds to build a fantastic food growing space for the children and community. We are excited to celebrate this amazing achievement and developing our plans for integrating the space into all areas of school learning and life”.
Sharon Johnson, Chief Executive of Trees for Cities says, “Edible Playgrounds engage children with nature and gets them excited about the food they eat. Many children have never experienced food growing firsthand, but by providing them with the opportunity to go outside and garden, even just once a week, we’ll give them an understanding about food, where it comes from and how to make healthy food choices, which will last a lifetime.”
With 2,000 primary schools in London alone, this is only the beginning!
Want an Edible Playground at your school? Find out how you can make it happen!
Questions? Email Jenny Hindson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch their video.