Pupils enjoy the fruits of their labours

Doing bloomin' good work in the Abbeyfield allotment are Jan Curry and pupils  Niki Pell, Fergus Evans, Josh Gair, David Sanderson, Sophie Cole and Kaitlin Sanderson-Snaith.
Doing bloomin' good work in the Abbeyfield allotment are Jan Curry and pupils Niki Pell, Fergus Evans, Josh Gair, David Sanderson, Sophie Cole and Kaitlin Sanderson-Snaith.

A GROUP of Morpeth schoolchildren’s hard work come rain or shine has been rewarded with a top class honour.

The Gardening Club at Abbeyfields First School in Kirkhill has been growing a range of flowers and vegetables since March.

And the green area impressed the judges from Northumbria in Bloom so much that the school was given a Gold award in the Growing Together category.

Pupils develop some of their produce in a big polytunnel and they have even made their own eco-greenhouse out of two-litre pop bottles.

Potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, squash, red onions, cauliflowers, aubergines and cucumbers are among the foods that have been produced and a proportion of them are sent to the school kitchen so they can be cooked for lunchtimes.

Herbs and eight different types of flower have also been grown and other features of the garden include scarecrows and windmills.

Higher Level Teaching Assistant Jan Curry, who has helped the children put together the garden along with Helen Briggs, said: “It’s fantastic for the school to receive a Growing Together gold award in the first year of entering the competition.

“The extremely high score of 96 per cent shows just how much hard work has been put into the area by the pupils.

“The judges were impressed with their knowledge of planting and different types of seeds and one of them said the garden is a happy and welcoming place that makes you smile as soon as you walk into it.

“Interviews with the children were recorded and clips of them were broadcast on BBC Radio Newcastle, which absolutely thrilled them.”

She added that residents of nearby St Christopher’s House and Renwick House have been along to see the garden and there is the potential in the next school year for a community bed to be established on the site.