Rishi has praised a school’s project to create a community garden and increase outdoor learning.
Aiskew, Leeming Bar Church of England Primary School is establishing a Natural Wellbeing Community Garden.
The school invited the MP to help by planting one of 300 trees and hedgerow plants in the new garden.
When complete, the school’s grounds will feature an outdoor classroom, sensory area, vegetable and herb beds, and a wildlife/vegetable garden which the local community will be able to use.
Funding for the work has come from the Government’s Healthy Pupils Capital Fund using money raised by the Soft Drinks Industry Levy and grants from the local budgets of Cllrs Annabel Wilkinson and John Weighell. The school’s parent-teacher association and the Yorkshire Agricultural Society also made contributions.
Rishi congratulated the school’s pupils, staff and supporters in the community for their work on the project.
“The school’s grounds are being transformed for the benefit of the pupils and the community beyond the school’s gates,” he said.
“It will be a beautiful space when completed and I congratulate everyone involved in coming together so enthusiastically to create a stimulating learning environment and a tremendous asset for local people.”
Headteacher Bethany Stanley said the idea for the garden came from the Healthy School Team which expressed an interest in growing herbs, fruit and vegetables and asked for a space where forest school activities could take place.
“We want to create a natural well-being wildlife garden for local people, to bring our community closer together, to help residents learn about wildlife and grow their own food.”
She added that when the garden is completed there would be regular gardening sessions for local residents, pupils’ gardening clubs and an after-school Forest School. The space would also be available to be booked for community events.
During his visit Rishi also took part in a Q&A session with pupils.