School Grounds and Gardening Club - Dunbar Primary School Parent Council, East Lothian

What did you do?

The team organises and runs the lunchtime P5-P7 Gardening Club.
They have created a long-term plan for developing planting plans, installing new play equipment and art installations in the grounds of both campuses.
They organise and run 'Fruit Fridays' in the autumn term to sell fruit and vegetables grown in the school gardens and surplus fruit grown by families.
They have helped install bike and scooter racks and security and school railings and places to secure dogs.
The group has looked at access routes and safe routes to both campuses.
The team has discussed flood drainage issues.
The team support the delivery of Forest School.

Who was involved?

The DPS Gardening Club is operated by pupils and a core group of parents, supported by the school's janitorial team and management team.
Local businesses have donated plants, rocks and gardening equipment. We have also had help from local businesses to renovate a wooden boat in the Maritime Garden.
The Countryside Ranger has helped generate the wider business support.
We have also received great support and now have links from local garden centres, Dunbar in Bloom, Sustaining Dunbar and Dunbar Allotments.

What was the biggest success?

Pupils, parents and teachers have undertaken a number of projects in the past in the enclosed courtyard garden. There are a number of distinct areas. The large grassed area has fruit trees, including apple, pear and plum trees; a willow tunnel and lovely large pond, which is a haven for wildlife. The remainder of the garden is divided into a number of plots.

The Maritime Garden was inspired by Dunbar's wonderful coastal location and the legacy of the conservationist, John Muir. We were given a beautiful wooden boat and this was delivered by the RNLI Lifeboat crew and Dunbar Sea Cadets; the boat now sits on a bank of shingle with native coastal species planted amongst the cobbles.

We have sold plants from our garden at the School Fair.

We have created new planting at the entrance to Dunbar Primary School, to soften the boundary of the school and to create a colourful, themed and welcoming area.

We have been stunned and delighted by the fantastic level of community support that we have received. We intend to encourage family involvement in the school gardens, growing flowers, fruit and vegetables.

Are you going to continue with this work, or has it inspired you to do something else?

In the longer term, we would like the school to become the hub of a wider gardening community that will encourage plant and produce sharing. For example, P4-7 pupils could co-ordinate the picking of fruit from the school gardens and other gardens in the town. These could be used within the school (healthy snacks and school dinners), as well as donated to local old peoples' homes, etc. Vegetables, fruit and fruit products (jams and chutneys) could be sold to raise funds for the school.

A network of keen gardeners in the town could share surplus plants, created when growing plants from seed, propagating plants, splitting plants and re-designing gardens, etc and these could be shared with other gardeners.

We hope that the planting created by the Gardening Club pupils will inspire the wider community and encourage other groups to take on planting schemes throughout Dunbar.

How much did this work cost?

Up to now approximately £2,000

Source of funding (if any)?

Grounds for Learning; East Lothian Council's Civic Pride.

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