Ahead of this year’s National Children’s Gardening Week (26 May-3 June), a Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) report ‘Together, we help children grow – the state of primary school gardening in the UK’ shows that nine out of 10 primary schools run gardening activities.
However, while 94% of primary school heads and deputies believe that school gardening benefits either pupils’ health, mental wellbeing, social skills, concentration or learning, the schools have only 33p per pupil to spend on the activity, and need more funding and volunteer support.
School gardening has many benefits to health and wellbeing, including:
- Children with access to decent green space are 24% more likely to be physically active.
- A strong correlation between happiness connected with the natural world.
- Working towards a common goal with peers (e.g. growing food for the school kitchen), helps pupils to break down many barriers to social interaction.
- School gardening can give a greater sense of achievement and responsibility.
- School gardening can improve concentration.
Chris Collins, Lead Ambassador for National Children’s Gardening Week comments: “The rise of school gardening has been staggering over the past decade. Gardening covers so many parts of the curriculum and it is the perfect vehicle for hands-on learning. The benefits from involving kids in gardening are huge – from social and physical to emotional and educational, and I look forward to highlighting this through National Children’s Gardening Week and The Great Escape Industry exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.”
National Children’s Gardening Week provides parents and schools with free activities that develop children’s learning, creative and social skills. Some of these ideas and examples of the benefits of children’s gardening will be on show in the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in ‘The Great Escape’ exhibit in the Discovery Zone in the Great Pavilion.