Saturday, 20 January 2018
CHILDREN from the Henley Village Montessori Nursery are learning how to grow fruit and vegetables.
The youngsters have been visiting the Watermans allotments, off Reading Road, every week to prepare beds and plant seedlings as part of a forest school scheme.
They also attend classes at the spinney behind the site, where they learn outdoor skills like building shelters and making camp fires. So far they have planted strawberries and next year they will grow tomatoes and herbs.
They will also build a polytunnel in which to grow other produce.
They will eat what they grow during snack times at the school, which meets at the Christ Church Centre in Reading Road.
Henley Mayor Kellie Hinton and her escort David Eggleton joined the children for a visit to the allotments. She said she was impressed by the four beds the children had helped prepare.
“What a fantastic use of an allotment space,” she said. “Forest schools are a great initiative and we’re seeing more and more of them popping up.
“It’s important that children learn where food comes from because it’s easy for them to think it just comes in a plastic box from the supermarket.” Deputy headteacher Hayley Stevens, who runs the forest school with teacher Matt McKinnon, said: “This is a good way of getting the children out of the classroom and into nature, where they’re free to move around.
“They love it and it’s good for their health as we walk to the allotments and back every time. It also encourages them to try healthy food as they’ve grown it themselves.”
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