Gardening project aims to give children green fingers

GREEN FINGERS Mayor of Portsmouth, Cllr Frank Jonas, centre, with volunteers at the new gardening project in Paulsgrove
GREEN FINGERS Mayor of Portsmouth, Cllr Frank Jonas, centre, with volunteers at the new gardening project in Paulsgrove

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Young people will be given the opportunity to learn about growing fresh produce, thanks to a new project opened by the Mayor of Portsmouth.

The new vegetable garden in the Paulsgrove adventure playground will give youngsters the chance to discover the process food goes through to reach our dinner tables.

The garden came together thanks to the efforts of volunteers from the 147 gardening club who, along with staff from the playground, secured a £500 grant from the Love Your Street scheme.

So far a range of fruit and vegetables, including strawberries, squashes, courgettes and runner beans, have been planted in the four large allotments in Marsden Road.

In the coming months, volunteers will help children harvest the crops and look to set up cooking classes, teaching the youngsters about healthy eating and cooking the different foods.

Bob Setford from the 147 gardening club said: ‘Many of the children who come to the adventure playground live in flats without gardens.

‘We hope this project is a way for them to learn gardening skills and hopefully develop a love of gardening and appreciation of wildlife.’

Mayor of Portsmouth, Cllr Frank Jonas, officially opened the garden and said this project is something that not only children can benefit from, but the whole community.

The project was made possible by the Love Your Street grant, which supports residents to bring neighbourhoods together to tackle community concerns.

In the run-up to the vegetable garden opening, children have got their hands dirty planting and building bird boxes to put up around the playground.

The 147 gardening club hopes that these bird boxes will bring more wildlife into Paulsgrove and encourage residents to hang them in their own gardens so birds will thrive in the area.

If you have an idea and want to find out more about applying for a Love Your Street grant, visit volunteer.portsmouth.gov.uk or email sarah.baker@portsmouthcc.gov.uk.