Olympic Garden Designer visits project participants

The ECA’s ‘Going Green for Gold’ project celebrated National Inspire Day on the 16th May 2012 with a visit from Rachel Read, the designer of the ‘Great British Garden’ on the Olympic site in Stratford.

Rachel visited Cavell School in Norwich to meet the pupils, share her experiences of creating the garden and work with them in the school allotment so they could show her how and what they grow. During the visit pupils were shown a presentation which included pictures of her design and photographs of the completed garden. She shared lunch made from produce grown in the school’s allotment with the children. Rachel also met with some of the parents and staff who were involved with the setting up of the allotment at the school.

Rachel said, “It has been lovely to be able to share my experiences with children in this part of the city and to sense their enthusiasm for growing things. Cavell is great at supporting this.” She added, “I’m really impressed with the school’s environmentally friendly approaches to gardening and encouraging biodiversity which are such features of the London 2012 site”.

Simon Wakeman, Head of Cavell School said “A significant quantity of our own produce goes directly into Cavell Café Vert. Our chef Susie, then transforms it into mouth-watering dishes which the children, sitting in ‘family groups’ enjoy. The children really see the connection between what they grow and what they eat – ‘ground to grub’. The next part of the project is to get the children to understand how it is possible to turn food into money, by taking the fresh fruit from our new fruit cage and transforming it into delicious shakes and jams which they will then sell, it’s important for children to understand the cost of food production and the rewards for hard work”

The ‘Going Green for Gold’ project is ‘Inspired By’ the county’s links to the Olympic site in Stratford; many of the plants on the site have been grown in Norfolk and the winner of the ‘Great British Garden’ competition to design a garden for the site was formerly from Norwich. It draws on these horticultural links to encourage learning about horticulture and active participation in related activities through a variety of informal learning methods in a disadvantaged area of Norwich. As well as helping participants of all ages to gain new skills and opportunities, it uses horticulture as a means to address issues such as health and wellbeing and environmental sustainability. It is supported by a group of schools and community organisations and has been awarded the 2012 Inspire Mark.

Rachel’s visit follows on from a visit by BBC Blue Peter Gardener Chris Collins, who visited Cavell and other schools in the local area in February of this year. During his visit he shared his expertise with the children and staff and promoted participation in ‘Going Green for Gold’. Video footage from this visit can be seen on the ECA's YouTube channel by clicking here.

Date Added: May 18th 2012