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Published 10th Apr 2012

Girl planting

Green-fingered youngsters are getting bitten by the gardening and growing bug.

Across Middlesbrough, primary school pupils have been working with Middlesbrough Council’s Environmental Education Officers to tidy up their grounds, and plant tasty vegetables.

Over the last few months children at St Thomas More Primary School in Erith Grove have been hard at work creating a wildlife garden and outdoor classroom area within their school grounds, providing a useful additional learning space during the warmer months.

The children have sourced and planted a variety of native trees, fruit trees and hedgerow plants, benefiting local wildlife and creating a natural and safe screen for the school.

They have built log piles for creatures to live in and even created a bug hotel, using recycled pallets, to give the insects somewhere to hibernate.

The project is still in its early days, and staff and pupils have many plans for the garden in the future including planting a living willow fence and establishing a wild flower area.

Meanwhile pupils at St Edward’s RC Primary School in Eastbourne Road have been working with staff and the Environmental Education team to clear and tidy garden areas in preparation for vegetable planting in the next few weeks.

The Council’s Waste Policy team has supplied compost bins that the children are using to compost leaves and other green waste from their garden.

They have also created an eco-pile from old twigs and branches to encourage insects to live in their garden and plans are in place to create more micro-habitats in the future.

Councillor Nicky Walker, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Streetscene Services, said: “Our young people will be the guardians of this town and its future, so it’s great to see them learning to look after their environment.

“Garden clubs are really catching on, with pupils learning from a young age all about growing their own vegetables, creating and protecting wildlife habitats and learning in the great outdoors.

“They’ve got bags of imagination and ideas, and they’ll get real inspiration as they literally see their handiwork bear fruit.”

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