Nature-loving students learn to dig gardening

Green-fingered students are determined to ensure Ripon Grammar School's grounds blossom - but they need your help

STUDENTS who feel passionately about nature and the environment have formed a gardening club to help improve their school grounds.

Sixth form volunteers at Ripon Grammar School want to create more flower beds to brighten up dull areas and attract and encourage wildlife such as birds and insects.

Having drawn up detailed plans and costed their projects, they are now appealing to parents and local businesses for donations, including perennials, bulbs, box hedging and compost, to help them achieve their dream.

Green-fingered sixth former Eva Scullion explained how the gardening team plans to make areas more environmentally pleasing: “Although the grounds are lovely, we think some areas would benefit from vibrant coloured planting, which would attract more insects like bees.

“Our idea is to plant many bulbs and spring blossoms on some of the small areas of grass close to found buildings, as well as creating areas where students can relax and be closer to nature.”

Headmaster Jonathan Webb, himself a keen gardener, is fully behind the idea and said he was excited about how students are helping develop areas for the benefit of the whole school community.

The project - part of the school’s Plus One development programme, which encourages sixth formers to gain valuable skills and experience outside their academic studies – will also help students blossom.

“We all know the benefits of gardening both physically and mentally. Even if we don’t want to put on wellies and weed or dig, the sight of flowers and evergreen structures must inspire every soul.”

He said he was grateful to have such willing and enthusiastic sixth formers instigating projects which will tender and develop over time: “These include a colourful, communal space outside the Sixth Form block with flowers, shrubs and some benches, flower beds in front of our main reception at Bishopton House and plants along the drive leading up to it. They would also like to encourage new havens for wildlife.

“If you wish to donate to these planting schemes with perennials you are now dividing in your garden, or with bags of compost, bulbs, bird feeders, or even benches, we can provide the tools and the encouragement,” he said.

If you can help, please contact Mrs Helen Nelson, who is co-ordinating the project, at Or bring labelled donations to Ripon Grammar School main reception at Bishopton House by Monday, November 1.