Young person at the allotment

@bartonpeveril Sixth Form College’s Allotment Project has had a successful first year, becoming a source of produce for the College canteen and offering students a chance to learn new skills outside of the classroom.

Since its inception, the unused area of college campus has been transformed with the help of local and national businesses. Nurture Landscapes donated the use of a digger to create a fresh patch of soil for growing produce, with the disused soil creating a bank at the end of the allotment. Southampton Allotment and Garden Association, Haskins Garden Centre, Franchi Seeds 1783, and Cultivation Street have each donated seeds and produce to be planted for growing in the project.

So far, the Allotment Project has grown broad beans, spinach, spring onions, potatoes, onions, tomatoes (different varieties), lettuce (different varieties), courgettes, cabbages, romanesco cauliflowers, butternut squash, pumpkins, sweetcorn, cucumbers, leeks, celeriac, callaloo, chard, dwarf beans, radishes, loofer courgettes and raspberries. As some students and staff have begun returning to campus, this produce has been used by the College’s Catering Team and shared with staff.

One of the students involved in the Project, former Wildern School pupil Nathaniel Sergi, based their Extended Project Qualification on their work on the allotment. Sergi planted seedlings and wildflower seeds into the bank, in his bid to encourage bees to make their home in the sustainable area of college land.

Speaking on his Extended Project Qualification, and the Allotment Project, Nathaniel Sergi said:

“My ambition was to take an unused, overgrown area alongside the newly created college allotment and transform it into an area where wildflowers and plants would grow, encouraging a wide range of pollinators and where wildlife can thrive within a highly urbanised area.

It was fortunate that I cultivated and sowed the wildflower area on March 14th - just the week before lockdown.  Although college has been closed and I have been unable to visit until this last week, the rain and sun have played their part ensuring the survival of the bank.

When I visited, I was delighted to see how well the wildflower bank had thrived with diverse plant species such as poppies, borage, marigolds and thistles flourishing. Proof of the success was the presence of solitary bees, bumblebees, honey bees, ladybirds and other creatures. I will leave Barton Peveril College in summer 2021 but my living wildflower installation will hopefully help wildlife and pollinators for years to come.”

Barton Peveril Director of Media AD Waters, who is the member of staff responsible for managing the Allotment Project, spoke of its inaugural year: 

“It has been great to see the wildflower bank develop from a pile of mud to a blooming wildflower haven. I have noticed a considerable increase in the presence of pollinators which will be fantastic for developing the fruit and vegetables on the allotment plot. Thank you to the organisations and businesses that have helped this project start so successfully and well done to all the students involved.”

 

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