Pupils from Coombe Bissett Primary School, took a trip to Andover, a Wyevale Garden Centre on Wednesday 24th May to learn about wildlife, gardening and where food comes from, from the garden centres expert horticulturalist and staff.

The trip, designed to inspire growing minds and encourage young gardeners, began with an exploration of the centre where the group of seven to eleven year olds discovered different types of plants, trees, flowers and garden tools. Shown various vegetables, herbs and fruit the pupils were encouraged to think about the journey our food takes – from a small seed in a pot to a delicious strawberry on a plate – and were invited to get creative by decorating strawberry markers and plant pots before planting their own seeds to bring home.

The budding gardeners also learnt about the importance of bees and butterflies as pollinators, as well as the various trees, plants and flowers we can grow to provide wildlife with food and shelter.

Staff from the garden centre also attended Balksbury Junior School where pupils across year 4, 5 and 6 planted seeds in clear cups to find out what happens when shoots and roots begin to grow above and below soil.

Part of a wider school engagement pilot scheme, Wyevale Garden Centres’ mission is to engage with primary school children in Britain, to educate youngsters on where fruit and vegetables come from, and to inspire and encourage the next generation of gardeners.

All of the pupils went home with their potted plants and a goody bag containing an activity sheet, a Wyevale Garden Centres voucher and children’s gardening gloves to encourage them to continue gardening.

Mrs Deborah Cockrean, Head Teacher at Coombe Bissett Primary School, says; “The children from Coombe Bissett Primary School Key Stage 2 Gardening Club thoroughly enjoyed their visit to Wyevale Garden Centre, Andover. There was a lot for the children to learn about and do: extending their knowledge about different plants and how to look after them; potting on their own strawberry plant to take home; setting up a germination experiment to take back to school; and adding to our school gardens with all the plants we chose. The visit also supported our whole school topic ‘Life on Earth’. Thank you to Paula and everyone at Wyevale for making sure our visit was such a success.”

Paula Smith, Team Leader, Andover, a Wyevale Garden Centre, says; “We were delighted to be able to invite staff and pupils from Coombe Bissett Primary School into our garden centre to learn more about wildlife gardening and growing their own fruit and vegetables. We hope to have inspired the pupils to keep up the brilliant work they’ve been doing at the school gardening club and to see some of them back in our centre very soon.”

Wyevale Garden Centres, will be inviting Little Diggers to get growing with a series of special events this May half-term. The ‘Let’s Get Growing’ events, aimed at three to eight year olds, will offer the chance to make a colourful super seed bursters, grow their own giant strawberries and pizza toppings, plant a mini allotment and bake tasty savoury and sweet muffins. Book online at wyevalegardencentres.co.uk/events

Polly has almost 20 years in the media industry. As Editor of Andover and Villages, she strives to bring the latest and greatest news with a minutes notice. Polly can be contacted via editor@andoverandvillages.co.uk or alternatively called at