Green-fingered pupils win gold

RIPON Grammar School’s talented student gardeners have won a gold Ripon in Bloom award for the second year running.

In addition to green-fingered pupils claiming gold for their impressive planting work in the school flower beds and grounds, one student won a special award for his environmental expertise.

Wildlife enthusiast Maxwell Alderson, 15, was awarded the Ripon in Bloom Special Merit Award due to his knowledge of different insect species and for creating habitats for them in the school grounds.

Sixth form student Evie Harry, the school officer with special responsibility for environmental issues, who helped the young gardeners work towards the award and showed the judges around the school site, said she was delighted the team picked up a gold award.

She is working with the student welfare officer to create a wellness garden in school, and will be running a garden design competition for younger pupils: "We are also continuing to work on ways we can increase biodiversity in the school grounds, including re-wilding some areas.

"Another big plan is to significantly reduce the amount of single use plastics in the school, specifically targeting the overuse and lack of recycling of plastic water bottles.

Year 9 students Paige Cunningham, 13, Vlad Danila, 13 and Jacob Chute, 14, who were presented with the award by Mayor Sid Hawke at a ceremony in Ripon Town Hall, are all keen gardeners.

Vlad, who enjoys getting out into the fresh air when involved in gardening club activities, was delighted everyone’s gardening efforts had paid off once again.

Paige, who first got involved as part of the lunchtime club and went on to provide extra help after school, says it’s a very calming hobby.