Former Blue Peter gardener Chris Collins has paid a visit to two primary schools in Market Harborough.
The Garden Organic horticulturalist joined pupils and staff at Ridgeway Primary Academy and Great Bowden Academy to celebrate their eco-themed World Book Days on Thursday March 3.
Chris helped to plant several trees at Ridgeway as he dished out invaluable advice to both schools on their new Sensory Gardens.
He also ran a special assembly on how brilliant plants and trees are and then met the schools’ eco-groups to help them think creatively about garden design.
Held every year, World Book Day celebrates how wonderful books are and encourages children into a love of reading.
This year both schools decided to go for an eco-theme.
They asked both children and staff to dress in ‘green’ or as an environmental character while using the book The Promise by Nicola Davies as their learning text for the day.
Executive headteacher at both schools, Sarah Bishop, said: “We had the best day across both our schools.
“Chris was a pleasure to host and his ideas and enthusiasm for gardening have sparked some amazing designs from our children in readiness for our new Sensory Gardens.
“We are still fundraising.
“But every week we’re getting closer to bringing our gardens to life.
“And with ideas for sound beds, wildlife corners, pizza gardens and so much more, our senses will be buzzing!
“World Book Day has always been a wonderful celebration of stories and reading,” added Sarah.
“But by tying it together with an eco-theme we were able to widen our pupils’ thinking and enable them to embrace new concepts.
“The Promise was a brilliant book to use across all the classes and we can’t wait to see how their creative writing develops over the term.”
Chris will be returning to the two local schools later this year to offer further help and run a planting day.
“I love being in schools and seeing how excited the children get about gardening.
“Gardening is a social cohesive and fantastic way of engaging children, especially those who can find classroom learning a bit of a challenge,” said Chris.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing the Sensory Gardens develop and how the children interact with them.”