Where butterflies and badgers dwell

4th May 2007 at 01:00
THE GROUNDS of Eureka primary in Derbyshire are providing food for children's minds ... and their stomachs.

The 130-pupil school in Swadlincote has an allotment, a secret garden, a sensory garden and there are plans to create a protected nettle patch for bees and a wildflower area for butterflies.

The allotment, named Goldie's Garden after the school's teddy mascot, has been created outside Jacqui Johnson's Year 5 classroom on a patch of ground where at one time stood a condemned, asbestos-ridden shed.

The class is now growing runner beans, tomatoes, courgettes, herbs, marrows, leeks and strawberries. The vegetables are given to the school's kitchen and served to the children.

A path has been cleared through a wood in the school grounds leading to a badger set. Darryl Parker, chief digger, was once a pupil and is now a parent-governor and caretaker. He said: "I cleared a path up the hill and there was an opening, a perfect place where the trees were in a circle, that became the secret garden with fairies, fairy doors, faces on the trees and wind chimes."

The school is a finalist for the DfES Teaching Award for sustainable school of the year, and it is competing in the BBC's Great British Village Show, to be screened in June.

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