Alan Titchmarsh Opening new RHS Learning Centre to help Thousands more Children get Growing

The Learning Centre building, named in memory of the late RHS President, Peter Buckley, will be opened next week (Friday 15 April) by renowned gardening broadcaster and supporter of the RHS Campaign for School Gardening, Alan Titchmarsh.

Designed by Devon-based ecological architects, Gale and Snowdon, the building will be used by primary and secondary schools, adult learners, trainees and for family events, attracting an estimated 7,000 school children a year.

In addition to two large classrooms for formal teaching, the Learning Centre includes an innovative teaching terrace garden, with raised vegetable beds, a sensory garden and dipping ponds, enabling vital hands-on horticultural experience for both pupils and teachers. An indoor practical space and cooking area will be used to teach children how to prepare the food they learn to grow.

The Centre has been designed to be eco-friendly utilising solar energy, rainwater harvesting and an efficient log burning boiler, using logs from the woodlands around RHS Garden Rosemoor, and allowing the building to be self-sufficient.

The land surrounding the new Learning Centre will be developed over the coming months to provide additional learning opportunities for both visitors and schools, including a forest garden with low maintenance planting producing fruits, berries and perennial vegetables. An extensive vegetable growing area will also be created to enable hands-on working for school groups, and areas around the building will be planted to encourage and support the unique wildlife of the North Devon Biosphere Reserve, in which the garden sits.


Article posted on 09 Apr 2011.

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