Petworth children celebrate opening of new nature garden

Children enjoying the new pond in the nature garden
Children enjoying the new pond in the nature garden

Children at Kaleidoscope Pre-school in Petworth are celebrating the opening of their nature garden brought to life through the support of businessess, parents and volunteers across the community.

Former pre-school pupil Luke Baker officially opened the garden by planting an apple tree grown from a pip in an apple he had eaten while attending the pre-school.

Past, present and future children of the pre-school and their families took part in a range of activities including a mini-beast hunt, planting and craft.

The garden, created on an unused area at the back of the school, includes vegetable planting areas and a fruit tree orchard to inspire the children to ‘grow their own’, a child-safe pond, a willow tunnel, a bug hotel to encourage the children to search out bugs and mini-beasts and a whole range of plants and trees that will grow and change with the seasons.

The pre-school used the opening to thank a number of businesses who had supported the project through plant or equipment donations or by providing labour to create the facilities in the garden.

Sandra Wadey, the pre-school’s deputy manager, said: “We are really excited about using the new garden to support the children’s learning.

“Once again we are truly 
grateful to the businesses, 
parents and volunteers who have helped us to create a fabulous garden for the current and future children of Kaleidoscope.”

Among the many people who helped Kaleidoscope, Sandra said the pre-school wanted to say a special thank-you to all the parents and children, past and present, committee members and staff and volunteers who had committed time, and often plants from their own gardens to create the 
fantastic space.

She also thanked Naomi Welch for designing the vision for the garden and starting the project, the Geoffrey Budd Partnership for providing free labour to landscape with the digger, lay the patio, build the pond, create woodchip and gravel paths and position the tyres, shed and composters.

Sandra also wanted to thank an anonymous Petworth businessman for a cash donation and Simon Banting for getting the project started on the ground, clearing the soil piles and creating the access ramp and the story seating area

Big Plant Nursery, Ashington donated fruit trees, ferns, lavenders and many other plants and Southern Water made a community chest donation towards the pond

Homebase at Chichester provided garden tools and Straight Line Fencing, from Chiddingfold, gave the pre-school gates, posts and rails. Petworth Nurseries gave plants and herbs and Austens Home Hardware also contributed.