The New Forest's Learning Garden Looking To Scoop Top Award

The team at Fairweather’s Learning Garden in the New Forest will be swapping their trowels for ties and tuxedos as they head to a glittering ceremony in London after making it to the finals of a prestigious national award.

The garden is one of only six other projects in the UK to have been recognised for its outstanding contribution to the community. The one-acre educational space teaches school children and gardening enthusiasts how to grow fruit and vegetables at no cost under expert tuition.

Chris Packham Opening The Gardens

Chris Packham Opening The Gardens

Patrick Fairweather, who less than a year ago set about transforming the formerly over-grown field in Beaulieu Village into an area now filled with mouth wateringly fresh produce, says they hope to scoop the prize at the Garden Retail Awards on 12th November: “To come away with the award would be fantastic recognition for everyone involved in the project, especially our 200 plus volunteers, without whom this simply wouldn’t have happened. Apprentices from Southampton City College who helped build our heather bale wall and the foundations for our cob wall to children from local schools like Beaulieu Primary who were the first to start growing here and the volunteers who’ve helped them and continue to support the project have made this happen. The community involvement has been absolutely invaluable. It’s what will ensure this project remains sustainable and will still be here in years to come.”

Patrick also adds that it’s not too late to get involved: “The Learning Garden is still very much in its infancy and we will always need local support so we welcome any enquiries from new volunteers with a few hours to spare who want to learn to garden or to share their gardening experiences and expertise.”The Learning Garden is open to the public and aims to teach children and amateur gardeners about growing healthy wholesome food, as well as the value of composting and identifying insects and other creatures which contribute to the garden ecosystem.

Free gardening drop-in sessions take place between 10am – 12 noon every Saturday in The Learning Garden, located off Beaulieu High Street. No booking necessary. For more information about becoming a volunteer 01590 612113. For more information visit

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