Bags of Help for New James Knott Garden

Children at the James Knott Campus celebrated the grand opening of their new outdoor area with a traditional summer garden party.

Thanks to the public vote, the school was awarded £12,000 from the Tesco Bags of Help scheme.

Designed by pupils, the ‘Making Outdoors Matter’ project features weaved willow domes and tunnels, bug hotels, wildflower areas and allotment beds.  The imaginative space will provide a wide range of exciting opportunities for outdoor learning and adventure.

Following months of hard work, the garden was officially opened by Ashington gardener, Sean Murray, winner of a nationwide TV competition to design a garden at Chelsea Flower Show.

Sean, a former nurse who launched a career as a professional garden designer following his win, was impressed with the results.

 He said: “It is fantastic how this area has been transformed into a creative space that I am sure will fire young people’s imaginations.

 “I believe it is important to inspire the next generation of gardeners and schemes like this that enable schools to offer outdoor learning  environments are a great idea.”

Caroline Mullen, headteacher at the James Knott Campus, said: “The children have been involved throughout the whole project, from design through to completion.

 “We are delighted with the results and it will make a real difference to life at the school, providing lots of opportunities for outdoor learning and to discover more about our environment.

 “We would like to thank everyone who has made this possible.”

Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch the second round of its Bags of Help funding initiative, which sees grants of £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 – all raised from the 5p bag levy – being awarded to local outdoor community projects.

 Millions of shoppers voted in stores up and down the country, with the James Knott Garden winning the top prize.

 Groundwork’s national chief executive, Graham Duxbury, said: “It’s projects like these that really help to capture the public’s imagination by illustrating what can be achieved when communities are given the support and the encouragement they need to create better places where they live.”