The Gifted Garden at Saint Paul’s Catholic High School in Wythenshawe was officially opened by local MP, Mr Mike Kane. Despite the monsoon conditions, staff and pupils had the opportunity for a chat with the MP about the work they had been doing and about the aims of the newly created outdoor space.
The school plans to use the garden to convey some key messages such as where food comes from and the role of farmers and growers; what constitutes healthy eating and why it matters; and the interdependence of the urban and rural environments.
Mrs Cathie Halbert, who is leading the project, said: “We were delighted when Mike Kane accepted our invitation to open the garden which is so special to all of us. The pupils were able to have a lengthy talk with Mr Kane and were delighted to tell him that it was all their own work. They were equally enthusiastic about our Phase 2 plans for the extended veggie plot, blossom and fruit trees designs. A keen gardener himself, Mr Kane was most impressed with the planting scheme, especially the patriotic beds featuring the red, white and blue colours to commemorate the fallen soldiers of both world wars.”
Mrs Halbert added: “At one stage, Mr Kane surprised the children by asking if it was ok to sample the lettuce. After getting the ‘green light’, he proceeded to snip off a couple of leaves and said that “the lettuce was fabulous”.”
“We were thrilled to have Mike Kane visit Saint Paul’s and officially open our new garden. The pupils have devoted a great deal of time and energy to the project so it was fantastic for them to see this recognised by a Member of Parliament,” commented Mrs Fiona Minshall, Head Teacher at Saint Paul’s. “We are hoping that the garden will bring many health and nutrition benefits for the pupils; they will be having outdoor exercise, whilst learning a useful lifelong skill. We want to encourage healthy food choices and we see the growing of fruit and vegetables as a way to do this.”
More photos of the day can be found in the gallery section of the website.