Child Gardening

Episode 47: School Gardening with the MiniHorts

This episode I’m joined by 3 guests; Louise Moreton who heads up the horticultural programme at Wicor Primary School and 2 of the MiniHorts themselves, Rebecca and Kieran. Louise set up a horticultural programme at the school 11 years ago, initially in a voluntary capacity. The programme became such a success she’s now employed by the school and works 4 days a week to deliver what has become a vital part of the curriculum. Rebecca and Kieran are Year 6 pupils who are members of the after school gardening club and leads in the MiniHorts programme, passing on their knowledge and enthusiasm to younger pupils. The MiniHorts have been in the media quite a bit, including featuring in an episode of Gardeners’ World in 2017, so they’re seasoned pros at this sort of thing! If you don’t have children or children of school age, I think you’ll still find this episode interesting and inspiring, it’s well worth a listen.

About Louise, Rebecca and Kieran:

Rebecca and Kieran are two MiniHorts; year 6 pupils who are also in the Wicor after school gardening group.

Louise’s history at Wicor is having worked from volunteer 11 years ago to employed horticulturalist 8 years ago. Her work has grown from a few hours a week to 4 days. She also works as a horticultural consultant alongside her work at the school.

After the school gardens appeared on Gardeners’ World, Louise was approached to work for the BBC on the Editorial Review Board for the Gardeners’ World magazine. In January’s clippings, she was asked to comment on The Wildlife Trust’s recent survey on school gardening, from an angle that’s mentioned in the episode; what is stopping more schools gardening?

What We Discuss:

– About the MiniHorts

– Objections to school gardens; they’re hard work, rely on volunteers and run to rack and ruin whilst pupils are on holiday. How can people overcome these challenges?

– Is horticulture on the curriculum in UK schools? Can more be done to promote horticulture in schools?

– What are the key factors needed to implement a successful school garden? Parent/community buy-in? Key stakeholder support? External funding?

– What support is available to people who may be interested in setting up a similar scheme?

– Has there been an increase in interest in horticultural careers amongst the children who’ve participated in the MiniHorts programme?

– Evidence of measurable positive impacts as a result of involvement in horticulture

– Particularly uplifting/poignant/heart-warming experiences as a result of being involved in MiniHorts


Wicor Primary School

Hatherley Cres,
PO16 9DL
01329 237412

Video of the Wicor School Garden at the 2017 RHS Chelsea Flower Show

MiniHorts on Twitter @minihorts

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