Growing to Give is expanding!

The Environment Team creates an outdoor sensory learning space

Outdoor classroom
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The new classroom
Found between Peverell halls of residence

The Environment Team were grant-winners in Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme last year to develop the ‘Growing to Give’ initiative at the back of Clifton Campus; a student-staff allotment (Foodshare). The allotment is run by horticulturist Tracey, the Environment Team and student and staff volunteers. The project is unique as most of the produce grown on site is donated to The Friary in West Bridgford;  a local charity who provide support to the homeless.

Courses that utilise the allotment space in lesson time include sports science, Environmental Science, Global Studies, Primary Education and SiP (Sustainability in Practice certificate - run by the Green Academy). The Green Academy's 'Curriculum Refresh' project engages course leaders to consider on one of more of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals in their course content and has helped enhance the use of the space through teaching and learning. All these initiatives contribute to the allotment's fruitful donations - which are weekly at this time of year. French parsley, early carrots, green beans and rainbow-coloured chard are just some of the produce harvested in the past couple of weeks.

The 'Bags of Help' grant has contributed to the addition of a sensory circular learning space, which means ‘Growing to Give’ can provide students and local community groups a fantastic space to use, featuring new apple trees, wildflowers and climbing honeysuckle. The classroom design was produced in house by the Environment Team and the Estates department with consultation from local community groups and NTU lecturers at Clifton campus. The outcome was a circular space with a teachers chair which would bring the attention inwards whilst being surrounded by wonderful pollinator plants and sweet-smelling climbers.

Circular design with a throne
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Circular design with a throne
Suggested by Nottingham Food Growers

Local community groups have already paid the classroom a visit including the 14th West Bridgford Brownies. The site was also a great addition to Clifton’s Green Flag judging which is in its fifth year - we are expecting the results by mid-July. If you would like to use the space as part of teaching or any community activity just get in touch.

If you would like to volunteer at Foodshare, simply turn up on Wednesdays 1-3pm, Tracey who runs the session will be there along with a member of the Environment Team. Sessions will slow down for the summer period so it is worth emailing environment.team@ntu.ac.uk to check before you show up.

Growing to Give is expanding!

Published on 2 June 2017
  • Category: Environment

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