Roots and Shoots garden grows, thanks to funding

Opening of the  new poly tunnel and plots at Alnwick Garden.'PIcture by Margaret Whittaker
Opening of the new poly tunnel and plots at Alnwick Garden.'PIcture by Margaret Whittaker

Funding has been secured to run a gardening project for children with disabilities and their families.

The Forgetmenot Young Gardeners’ Group at The Alnwick Garden has been made possible thanks to a grant from Northumberland County Council.

It will give children their own vegetable plots and an exclusive polytunnel in which families can grown fruit, vegetables and herbs.

The families visit once a month from March to October to learn gardening techniques, grow, maintain and harvest their own plots.

Project staff and gardeners work with the families to support the individual needs of each child to enable the whole family to spend time together outdoors while learning new skills.

Children take part in fun competitions as well as growing bedding plants, herbs and hanging baskets to sell throughout the season to help support the programme.

The Garden is celebrating its seventh year of delivering gardening workshops to school children and a number of community groups.

The Roots and Shoots Garden was once a derelict piece of land is now thriving with allotment plots, raised beds and polytunnels, growing an abundance of different fruit and vegetables and flowers.

Schools take part in workshops each year to learn how to develop their plots.

The new polytunnel and plots were oficially opened last week by Debbie Bakkali, head of children’s services at the county council and Trevor and Lyn Shears, trustees of The Shears Foundation which has been the principle supporter of the Roots and Shoots project for a number of years.

The Duchess of Northumberland was also in attendance at the opening alongside Roy Leech, trustee of the William Leech Trust which also supports the project.