A garden inspired by spring wildflowers in the Yorkshire Dales has been awarded a Certificate of Achievement in the new Pocket Garden category at Harrogate Spring Flower Show.
Local charity Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT) teamed up with pupils from Bainbridge Church of England Primary and Nursery School to create a pint-sized ‘Pocket Garden’ measuring just one metre square to highlight the importance and beauty of spring wildflower habitats in the Dales, and the range of pollinating insects that depend on this vital early nectar source.
Over the last few months YDMT has been teaching pupils, aged 7-9, from Bainbridge school about native wildflowers and the local wildlife that can be found in wildflower habitats in the Yorkshire Dales.
The children also received design tips and expert advice from Yorkshire’s award-winning garden designer, and YDMT ambassador Chris Myers, before producing imaginative design plans for the garden.
Chris said: It has been great fun working with the kids, and excellent to see them getting so interested and excited in the plants and insects around them. The garden has turned out really well and I’m very happy to have been able to help and get involved. I think the children from Bainbridge Primary School should be really proud of what they’ve achieved.
It was then down to the team at YDMT to bring the designs to life using plants such as English Bluebell, Lily of the Valley, Lords and Ladies, Coltsfoot, Ransom and Bugle, all nestled beneath a native Hawthorn tree, to create a naturalistic and tranquil Pocket Garden.
Tanya St. Pierre, YDMT’s wildflower expert, said: We found it really hard to condense all the excellent ideas and garden designs produced by the children into a plot just a metre square! Thanks to some top tips and advice from Chris, I think we produced a pretty garden that showcases the some of the wildflower species native to the Yorkshire Dales. All provide a vital food source for our pollinating insects, and I hope our garden will encourage more people to grow a range of early flowering native species in their own plot at home, to benefit the local wildlife.
The school children also made an artistic collection of insects that decorated the garden, including ladybirds, spiders, snails, bumblebees and caterpillars.
The garden, which was awarded a Certificate of Achievement by judges at the Harrogate Spring Flower Show, will be re-created in the school garden after the show for the children to enjoy, and the local wildlife to thrive on.
David Moore, Assistant Headteacher at Bainbridge Primary School, said: This has been a unique learning experience for the children who have enjoyed sowing seeds, making insects and learning all about the importance of the wildflower species that we are lucky enough to see growing close to our school in the Yorkshire Dales.
The Pocket Garden project has been made possible thanks to the support of players of People’s Postcode Lottery. The charity lottery supports good causes like YDMT, which has been awarded more than £400,000 over the last five years. In total, players have raised more than £39.9 Million for good causes across the country.
Kate Pearson, Deputy Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery said: We’re so delighted that players of People’s Postcode Lottery have been able to support the wonderful work of Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust. It’s great to be able to celebrate the wonderful wildflowers, habitats and species of the Dales in such an unusual way.
Main photograph: YDMT are joined by pupils and teachers from Bainbridge School and Chris Myers as the team receive a Certificate of Achievement