Sprout Up is a garden design company that volunteers to help local schools and children’s nurseries have better outdoor spaces so children can freely access nature. However, in the cold light of day, lack of time and funds often means that not enough children are being reached to make a lasting difference. Rosanna Head
Last year, Sprout Up founder Seonaid Royall, was keen to spread the word about the importance of reconnecting children with nature and submitted a design to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) to build a Show Garden at Hampton Court Flower Show and they accepted it. The garden is called Believe in Tomorrow and its aim is to educate children about the natural world and inspire them to spend more time outdoors.
Seonaid Royall said: “What started as a simple garden design to share a message has grown and grown and I’m now running a full community project with multiple workshops for five local schools in the lead up to the show where children make props and grow plants for the garden itself.
“They will then visit the show garden to see where their hard work went before the garden is broken up and relocated to their schools, where they can benefit from it for years to come.”
Royall is working with the Windmill Cluster group of schools and has Jubilee, St Jude’s, Christchurch Streatham, Holy Trinity and Richard Atikins 99% confirmed to take part. She added: “We are hoping to set up a community link between all the schools in the cluster to support each other after the gardens are built so that they can all learn from each other.
“I’ve started discussions with Herne Hill Station Hall group about using their wonderful space to host merged school events and to widen the teachers’ knowledge of the area that surrounds their school with many of them not living locally.”
The RHS has part-funded the Believe in Tomorrow Garden but the team still need to raise more money. They are looking for partners and sponsors and have set up a crowdfunding campaign that has 12 days left. (At time of writing this post.)
Gemma Lake, Show Manager of RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival said:
“We are delighted to welcome Seonaid and her wider project to the Festival this year. Her design is set to be a hugely educational and an inspiring display. RHS is committed to encouraging younger generations to get involved with gardening and it’s great to see Believe in Tomorrow offering children the opportunity to connect with nature and learn through gardening.”
Any support you can give the project would be much appreciated.
A link to the crowdfunding page is here – https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/believe-in-tomorrow
People can get involved by helping the team crowdfund and by visiting the show, kids go free with a paying adult. The team are keen to produce an educational resource pack to hand out to parents and schools, giving them helpful tips and inspiration for simple outdoor activities they can do with their children.
Local mums and dads have already shown their support:
“This is such an important project. Enthusing the next generation and nurturing their respect for our natural world is so vital.”
“Brilliant project! My kids go to one of the schools involved, we have a garden but most of the kids there don’t, this will teach them so much and help them to connect with nature in a wonderfully creative way.”
“This is a really brilliant project-it’s so important for kids to (re)connect with nature, develop a love of the outdoors and appreciation of how much we all depend upon our wonderful planet:-).) Love how their involvement is complete from inception to beyond the show.”
“I love the idea of crowdfunding an RHS garden aimed at children – it makes it much more accessible to ordinary people. I also want to support Seonaid’s brilliant work and enthusiasm for children and gardening. Gardening and well being go together in life!”
“This is such an exciting & inspiring project! I love that the kids are fully involved in the creation of it and that the garden will redistribute across schools once the show is over so the children will once again benefit from the wonder of nature”