Early in 2018, The National Allotment Society launched Schools Allotment Week and a search for the UK school with the most impressive allotment plot or allotment site on its grounds.
After weeks of deliberation, the judges have chosen Blidworth Oaks Primary School in Mansfield as their winner. In particular, they were impressed by the involvement of the children in the garden, the fact that chickens were also being cared for and the use of produce in the school kitchen.
As well as receiving a National Allotment Society Trophy, the East Midlands school receives gardening seeds and £250 of gardening vouchers from Nature’s Path.
Nature’s Path’s own commitment to the environment is rooted in sustainability and it is an active supporter of community and urban gardening initiatives. As such, the family firm is proud to be involved with Schools Allotment Week. In fact, it actively encourages the education of kids and families about the environment and our planet and 1% of the revenues of its Envirokidz range of cereals is given to nominated charities who are working hard to save endangered animals, protect their habitats and educate kids worldwide.
Since Blidworth Oaks Primary School started the vegetable garden in 2012, the effect of outdoor learning on the children has been fantastic. Children who found difficulty engaging with the school have found a new purpose and those who needed a little extra time have found a safe and peaceful place. Many children in the school have become enthused to try new foods, the school kitchen is regularly stocked with vegetables from the allotment and lots of the children now talk about their own allotments or what they are growing at home. Over the years, the allotment has been extended to include a poly-tunnel and the school is now able to host a class for an outdoor lesson at any time of the year. This can range from Science to Maths, with some English along the way.
Through the support that Nature’s Path has given Blidworth Oaks Primary School, the children are already excited about the plans for next year. This involves using the gardening vouchers to buy a liquid composting station, create a squirrel gymnasium and plant more trees and plants in the ever-evolving allotment space.
All in all, thanks to the allotment, the school is able to teach their children about their environment and healthy eating, along with conservation and recycling – as well as everyday skills that children need, but in a fun and relaxed atmosphere, which is why Nature’s Path is delighted to be a part of this initiative.