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Horticulture helps learners to grow

Novus Horticulture Tutor Daile Briggs teamed up with learners at HMYOI Wetherby to create an area where they could grow vegetables and flowers.

The process helped learners with their City and Guilds Level 1 Diploma in Practical Horticulture Skills course. It also benefitted Catering learners, as they were able to use the ingredients in their dishes.

The Woodland Trust awarded Daile a selection of hedgerow saplings so he could create a hedgerow as part of the horticulture course. Learners got the chance to research habitats and garden designs before helping to develop the new area.

Their project also interested the Royal Horticulture Society’s Grass Roots magazine, who visited to research an article about the benefits of Horticulture to the rehabilitation of learners.

“In a world that increasingly relies on electronic connections and instant demands, it is easy to forget how biodiversity has helped us all to develop” said Daile.

“It is incredibly important to teach others about this relationship, and give as much back to our land and the species that live there as possible. It is brilliant to see how quickly the horticulture had a positive effect on the learners at HMYOI Wetherby, and the new skills they learnt should stay with them for life. Hopefully they will pass down these skills to their children one day.”

“Working closely with the young men, it was clear to see that horticulture was having some very impressive holistic impacts on their attitudes and behaviours. They took a more caring and nurturing approach towards living things, plants, insects and mammals, and their understanding of the ecosystem also improved.”

The project has had an impact further afield. A community-based relationship has formed between Novus, HMPPS, Friends of Sandringham Park Community Group and the RHS initiative, Greening Grey Britain, which encourages young people to improve local youth-led green spaces.

It has also seen Novus Horticulture learners eligible for ROTL (Release on Temporary Licence) help Friends of Sandringham Park to transform part of the park. They have created a wildlife rich space that the local Beaver-Scout group can use to gain their Naturalist Activity Badge.

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