Disturbed by reports that children now spend less time outside than prisoners, one South London gardener is crowdfunding a campaign to get them off screens and into nature – starting with an innovative show garden built by and shared with local schools.
According to the ‘Play In Balance’ report commissioned by Persil, over 60% of children around the world spend less than 60 minutes outside every day – less than the mandatory time allocated to prison inmates.
In response to this shocking statistic, Seonaid Royall, a parent and the founder of garden design firm Sprout Up, has created the ‘Believe in Tomorrow’ project. This project aims to help reconnect school children with nature.
She’ll be running gardening workshops to give pupils at five South London schools the chance to get their hands dirty by growing plants and helping to build a garden for this year’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival.
The finished show garden will be part oasis and part classroom. It will feature edible planting beds that children can pick from and taste, and secret pathways for them to explore. A log arch, fire pit, and pond will offer even more opportunities for kids to learn and be inspired.
After the show, different parts of the garden will be relocated to the schools and communities that helped to build it. Helping to give them permanent access to nature.
Seonaid Royall, creator of the Believe in Tomorrow project said:
“Believe in Tomorrow is my vision for the ideal primary school garden. The wider aim of the project is to give children with limited access to nature the chance to get their hands dirty for once and be inspired to spend more time outdoors.
“The project has education at its heart and will culminate in a garden that will show RHS Hampton Court visitors that by just stepping outside you can invigorate and inspire children.”
Gemma Lake, Show Manager of the Royal Horticultural Society 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 inspiring display. The RHS is committed to encouraging younger generations to get involved with gardening. It’s great to see Believe in Tomorrow offering children the opportunity to connect with nature and learn through gardening.”