Published on 11th April 2014

planting a sapling

Cheltenham in Bloom’s annual Schools’ Nature Garden Competition is underway.

The committee invites schools in the borough to enter this popular competition, which encourages schools to raise their pupils’ awareness of the natural environment.

Judges will be looking for entries which show: diversity of habitat and species; involvement and enthusiasm of pupils in the making and maintenance of the garden; how much the garden is used as an extension of pupils’ studies and as an outdoor classroom; and general environmental awareness within the school as a whole, such as recycling, composting, environmental projects and clubs, Eco schools’ status, and children’s awareness of issues.

Chair of Cheltenham in Bloom, says: “This is a great opportunity for schools to encourage their pupils to learn more about nature and green issues while having fun outside."

“We are not looking for a perfect nature garden - what we are looking for is the participation of pupils and their general awareness of the natural environment. We would especially love to see any work schools may have been doing about biodiversity.”

Wayne Sedgwick, senior community ranger and one of the judges for the competition, adds: “I’m really looking forward to judging this year’s entries. The competition gives schools and young people the chance to get outside in the fresh air and learn to be green fingered. ”

The closing date for applications is 2 May. To apply, please contact the Chair, Chris Ryder, on 01242 526464, or call 07709 072360 for an application form.

Judging takes place on Tuesday 20 May by committee members from Cheltenham in Bloom, Cheltenham Borough Council, Cheltenham Horticultural Society and other invited judges.

The winning school will receive a trophy, a certificate and a cash prize of £100. The two runners up will also receive certificates and cash prizes sponsored by Cheltenham in Bloom. The mayor will present the awards to the winning entries through June and July before the school summer holidays begin.

Contact: Laura Carter, communications officer, telephone 01242 264154, email [email protected]