Duchess impressed by garden

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HER horticultural CV includes creating the Alnwick Garden, so a thumbs-up from the Duchess of Northumberland, Jane Percy, for green-fingered know-how is praise indeed.

The duchess has handed out just such a seal of approval to Morpeth’s Chantry Middle School, however.

The Duchess of Northumberland visiting Chantry Middle School where year 6 and 7 pupils showed her the new student garden which she officially opened.

The Duchess of Northumberland visiting Chantry Middle School where year 6 and 7 pupils showed her the new student garden which she officially opened.

Since landing a grant of almost £10,000 from the National Lottery’s Awards for All grants scheme last summer, the school has been spending that cash on creating a new garden and outdoor learning centre.

Their efforts have now come to fruition, and last week the duchess was called in to give the garden its official opening.

The area behind the school’s new science block is now home to a greenhouse, pond, raised flowerbeds and other floral displays, a pergola and shed.

“I was honoured to be asked to open the garden,” said the duchess. “It’s a great resource that will help get pupils interested in gardening and teach them about growing plants and food.”

n A video version of this story can be seen at www.newspostleader.co.uk

Teaching assistant Alison Bruce said: “Our lunchtime gardening club was using the area, but it was in a bit of a state, so it was hardly used in the autumn and winter.

“Now it can be used all year round for gardening and lessons, and pupils will be able to better understand the role that plants and shrubs play in the natural world.

“They will be doing some recipe beds, where most of the ingredients needed for meals such as vegetable soup will be in one raised bed, so they can find out for themselves how food is made from start to finish.”