EDUCATION


Education has always been one of our objectives from the start in 2009 to the current day.

The garden is a community garden run completely by volunteers and since the beginning it has offered many diverse opportunities for adults, groups, families, children, schools and organisations. Below is a list of the people/groups who have used/use the garden and as such this demonstrates our commitment to education.

 

Mainstream

Schools

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Within the garden there are areas that have been allocated as free of charge for specific educational purposes. St Paul’s School came for several years to the garden and ran woodland experiences like Forest School. St Mary Star of the Sea school has had a long connection with the garden. Their school volunteer made raised beds and they were used for several years by that school. They gave donations to the garden from some school fund raising activities. These two schools still visit occasionally.

 

It has become increasing difficult for schools to find school time and staff to use the garden as much they would wish. Currently Christchurch school is using 3 raised beds to garden. The children have to walk to the garden and this limits the time they can spend there.

 

Special School

 

A pupil came with a teacher for about a year and he really loved being in the garden.

 

Home

Education

 

 

A Home Education group used an area for a time and had some sessions at the garden for more formal learning. These sessions included soil pH, wood carving and Forest School type activities.

Adult

Education

 

 

Adults are introduced to the garden from various organisations and have used the educational areas and volunteered for tasks. A group of residents with Autism came, gardened and socialised for some months.

RSPCA

 

 

 

 

 

BWGA and local schools engaged with a local RSPCA centre (Mallydams) who ran an outreach project called ‘Wild Things’ for combined wood and garden activities. These included learning about the woods, nature, looking after animals, gardening and local history. Often these activities involved using story telling, art and games.

 

Education

Futures

Trust

 

Education Futures Trust were in the garden for two ‘Wood carving’ sessions and helped to install the Interpretation board. (Heritage Lottery funded project).

 

Treasure

Tots

 

Treasure Tots group have been visiting the garden for three years to play and learn. They continue to come alternate weeks as the weather permits.

Recovery

College

 

Sussex Recovery College works in partnership with a range of local providers to offer mental health recovery - focused educational courses. Courses are free to adults of all ages. They have run courses in the garden.

 

Public use of the garden
We have public open day events throughout the year where nature activities and other subjects are often covered.  Past subjects have included identification of trees, moths, wildlife gardening, tool use, pumpkin carving and grafting. Such events usually include refreshments, music and other entertainment like art and story telling.

We encourage members and especially plot-holders to share knowledge and experiences of gardening. This has been done in two ways; in a series of horticulture workshops as part of the Heritage Lottery Fund project and our own plot holders shared lunch sessions.

 

Community use of the garden

We encourage others to use the garden if the purpose fits with the ethos of the garden. It has been used for children’s birthday parties and other social events over the years which included Tibetan and African cultural events.

We want the garden to be seen as a community space for learning, fun and social engagement. It also offers health benefits of exercise and being outside in nature.