They've got green fingers and great ideas!

Published on: 20 Dec 2017

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STUDENTS from Downend School have won a Royal Horticultural Society award for their inventive ideas for a school garden.

Eleven students in two teams won the Innovation Award in the RHS Green Plan It Challenge. They worked on their plans for four months, supported by gardening mentors and staff members  Mr Smith and Ms Kelly.

The Year 8 students impressed the judges with their designs,  which looked at both the practicalities of having a garden in a school, sustainability, and benefits to the environment along with some clever uses uses of technology such as bicycle irrigation.

The teams,  named ‘Right Me Basils’ and ‘Mighty Morphin Flower Arrangers’ were awarded a trophy £100 of garden vouchers at an all-day event at The Bristol Botanic Gardens.

The event showcased the work of schools from across the South West and South Wales and the teams had to present a model, a display and talk about their ideas to a panel of judges, with wide and varied experience in horticulture.

RHS head of community outreach, Andrea Van-Sittart said:  “The Green Plan It Challenge is designed to support young people to develop skills including teamwork, creativity and problem-solving, and, we hope to inspire some future Alan Titchmarshs and Monty Dons.

“All of the entries reveal an understanding of the important role that gardens can play both in terms of providing space to work and reflect and as a home for wildlife and the plants they rely on. We’d love to see some of these gardens come to fruition as we set about greening our grey Britain.”

Downend School is starting work this year on a garden next to the Innovation Centre and it hopes that many of the award-winning team will get involved.

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