Revived schools gardening competition nurturing education for Barnet children

Times Series: Five primary schools took part in the second annual contest this year Five primary schools took part in the second annual contest this year

A revived school gardening competition is nurturing students knowledge about where their food comes from, say organisers.

The Young Gardeners Awards were set up in 2011 to replace the ‘Best Educational Garden’ category at the now defunct Barnet in Bloom competition.

Five primary schools took part in the second annual contest this year and awards were handed out by Barnet Mayor Brian Schama at Sunnyfields School, in Greyhound Hill, Hendon, on Thursday.

Organiser Jo Connolly, from Sunnyfields, said: “The children get a lot out of it. There is the sense of being outdoors and finding out where things like potatoes come from.

“They’re all usually really excited about getting involved and some of them have had no experience with growing their own.

“The competition also helps develop friendships, knowledge about healthy living and team work skills.”

Gardens were judged by Philip Coleman, from Finchley Nurseries, and John Taunt, of the Hendon Horticultural Society.

Entries were compared on the extent that children participated in the growing of vegetables and flowers and the health of their crop.

Bonus points were awarded for gardens that used eco-friendly allotment methods like water conservation.

St Paul’s Primary School, of The Ridgeway, Mill Hill, avoided the pit falls of what was a bad year for slugs and snails took home the grand prize – a trophy donated by the Hendon Horticultural Society.

Children from St Mary’s and St John’s, in Hendon, Foulds, in High Barnet, Courtlands, in Mill Hill, and Sunnyfields all took home goody bags for their participation.

Mrs Connolly said: “It was a success again. The crops were not as good as last year because of the weather but we will definitely do it again and we want even more schools to sign up next year.”

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