Western Road CP School presents: Plant Power!

Saturday 24 February, 11am-3pm, Lewes Climate Hub, Lewes House, High Street, Lewes, BN7 2LU, FREE

Join pupils of Western Road Community Primary School for a special exhibition chronicling how they have improved the biodiversity of their school grounds and celebrating the creative and well-being benefits of gardening. The day includes creative activities for all ages!

Seedlings for the dye garden grown on windowsills

Deputy Head Teacher Rea Hamilton writes: Over the last couple of years pupils and staff at Western Road CP School have been working hard to expand the range and the variety of nature within the school grounds. This includes our brilliant Forest School, which is going from strength to strength.

A hedgerow planted two years ago by the children of Western Road and Southover Schools, with the help of Lewes Urban Arboretum, now provides a haven for insects and birds. It comprises over 900 whips, (a mixture of 10 native species), and we love observing it grow and change through the seasons. Our families regularly meet to trim and weed it through the year.

We used onion skins, rudbeckias and marigolds to dye silk, cotton and wool.

Last year, we worked with Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft to plant a ‘dye garden’ in our school grounds. This project started life in seed trays which were taken home by some of our families to grow on their window sills, before being planted in the garden by our Eco Council. The marigolds, sunflower, coreopsis and woad we grew were harvested and dried by the children over the summer and autumn, ready to make dyes for school craft projects through rest of the year.

The dye garden was a joy to work on. As well as adding a splash of colour to our grounds, it was a magnet for insects while the flowers were in bloom. We look forward to adding black hollyhocks, nasturtiums, safflower and Japanese indigo to our collection of dye plant species.

Come and see us on Saturday 24 February at Lewes Climate Hub to learn more from pupils and staff about our planting projects, see the artwork these projects have inspired and learn more about the benefits of planting and gardening to both our mental and physical health, as well as to our environment. We’d love to see you there!