First Edible Playground to launch in Reading

First Edible Playground to launch in Reading

Edible Playgrounds, a project led by Trees for Cities, to provide schools in urban areas the opportunity to grow food in their playgrounds, will be launching an edible playground at the Palmer Academy in Reading on Wednesday 22nd June.

Edible Playgrounds

X Factor Finalist 2009 Danyl Johnson, will officially open the edible playground. Michelin star chef, Dominic Chapman, who has recently adopted the school to deliver food education and cooking sessions to some of the students, will also be joining the celebration. Governors, parents, children, schools, local residents and the local community will be attending the opening and exploring the garden.

Players of People’s Postcode Lottery have awarded Trees for Cities and its partners – Chefs Adopt a School and School Food Matters, nearly £250,000 Dream Funding to create ten edible playgrounds over two years in schools across the UK. Palmer Academy, was one of the lucky ten schools to receive funding. Over the last 10 Trees for Cities and its partners has been working in partnership with the Palmer Academy, to bring together growing, cooking, and learning about the importance of eating healthy food.

Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery said: “We are delighted that the £249,180 in funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery is allowing Edible Playground across the country, the success of the project is proven and we are delighted to be supporting such an excellent project”

The children at the Palmer Academy have been growing a phenomenal crop of lettuce, peas, beans, carrots, radishes, strawberries, raspberries, to name a few in their edible playground. The edible

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playground has lovely raised beds for growing vegetables and a sun ray fruit garden. Around the edge is an orchard of espalier apple trees. The children have compost bins and womery to learn about composting and the nutrient cycle and they have a large greenhouse to start their seedlings.

Dom Prendergast, Head Teacher at the Palmer Academy said: “Edible Playgrounds have transformed the outdoor grounds of our school into an incredible food growing space. Children in city areas often have limited opportunities to learn and play in natural environments, so we are excited that our edible playground will provide our children and the local Reading community the opportunity to grow, cook and eat healthy, good food. We are continually striving to encourage our children to be healthier and we view the edible playground as an opportunity to develop this further as well as bring learning outside the classroom.”

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David Elliott, Chief Executive of Trees for Cities said: “ Our Edible Playground community is growing across the country and address several key areas of concern around children’s health. They teach pupils about nutrition, that healthy food can be the easy choice, in and out of school and encourage physical activity. Edible Playgrounds are part of our overall vision to plant trees and green communities in cities, revitalising these areas and improving the lives of the people that live in them”.

Trees for Cities has been working in schools to plant fruit and nut trees since 2000. With this track record and experience, TfC’ technical expertise in the delivery of Edible Playgrounds and operations is well established and highly regarded. The first Edible Playground was created in 2003. There are currently over 30 Edible Playgrounds in the UK with a further 40 to be rolled out over the next three years.

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