For the second year running, the Salters’ Institute and Edible Landscapes London are working together with primary schools in London to help them explore and promote biodiversity, with the opportunity for one lucky school to have the forest garden they design to be created at their school.
In January, four Year 5 classes were welcomed into Salters’ Hall for a day of exploring the idea of biodiversity and its importance by getting hands on with nature’s most important material; soil.
As a Salters’ Outreach Ambassador, I had as much fun as the pupils when investigating what soil is and discovering the whole other world that lives within it. I can remember one pupil exclaiming on entering the Hall that it was “like a palace!”, only for that same pupil to roll up their sleeves and delve into investigating a tray of dirt. Quite the contrast, but I think it perfectly highlighted the idea that biodiversity plays into all our lives and everywhere we live, so even in somewhere as ornate as Salters’ Hall, nature is still present!
The pupils came away with an understanding of how much life there is in seemingly dull soil, and inspired by their discoveries, they’ll go on to design their own forest garden, with biodiversity at the heart of the design process. Although only one school’s design will be brought to life, everyone involved will be equipped with new forest gardening knowledge that they can incorporate at home, whether it be in a flower pot, on a window sill, or in their home or community garden.
It was a pleasure to be involved in this project again and good luck to all four schools in their bid to have their very own forest garden at their school!