New community garden blooms thanks to green-fingered students

Students at Whitley Bay High School with their community garden.
Students at Whitley Bay High School with their community garden.
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Green-fingered pupils have created a feast of a garden for residents to enjoy.

Year 9 students at Whitley Bay High School spent three days working alongside volunteers at the Stationmaster’s Community Wildlife Garden.

They also worked alongside learning disability support organisation New Prospects to come up with a sensory garden for people with learning difficulties.

The garden includes plants chosen for texture, smell, taste, and colour, and also boasts motion-triggered sound.

Student Olivia Appleby, 13, said: “We all had different ideas and we used communication and teamwork to overcome the challenges.”

Fellow student Abbie Fletcher, 14, added: “It’s good working as a team and seeing that you can get on with people, and realising how amazing some people are.”

The students took part in a series of activities exploring the five senses, and visited New Prospects to speak to service users about what they would want in a sensory garden.

They then got to work clearing the area, building the container, filling it with earth and arranging their plants and ornaments.

The bed is decorated with shells collected from the nearby beach to add even more texture. There are also plans to use a 3D printer to add some text in Braille.

Teacher Jonathan Okwe-Pearson, who led the project, said: “We are very proud of how hard the students have worked and, in particular, how they have come together as a team. In just three days they have created something of real value for the community.”

Mark Frampton, treasurer at the Stationmaster’s Community Wildlife Garden, said: “It has been a really good, positive experience and nice to see young people here having a good time and building such a great thing.”