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Sowing the seeds for a green-fingered future

Thousands more school children will learn the joys of digging, sowing and harvesting, with the opening of a new garden learning centre.

The Royal Horticultural Society has built the facility at its garden at Wisley in Surrey, and it includes a general education area, growing lab and teaching garden.

The project is part of a pound;7 million rebuild of the garden's glasshouse, which will open in June.

With the help of experts, pupils will gain hands-on experience of growing plants, fruit and vegetables and will be able to cook and eat the harvest using facilities on the site.

Ruth Taylor, the head of education at the Royal Horticultural Society, said it was vital that children had the chance to get in touch with nurturing plants.

She said: "It's important from a healthy eating point of view and an aesthetic one - the children can learn how to enhance their own spaces.

Some children come and they've never seen a garden like this or experienced planting before."

The Royal Horticultural Society also runs teacher training courses and outreach schemes to encourage teachers and pupils to create gardens in their own schools.

* www.rhs.org.ukwisley

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