GREEN-FINGERED pupils have been left reeling after recent winds left them without their treasured school greenhouse.
Pupils at Lindhead School were “close to tears” after discovering that the centrepiece of their recently refurbished school garden had been destroyed by gales.
The previous greenhouse cost around £200, and despite using money from the sale of vegetables grown on the school’s vegetable patches, they are still well short of the total amount needed to purchase a replacement.
Now the Gardening Club, which runs through the summer holidays and is due to start in April, are making an appeal to kind-hearted donors for help in replacing the greenhouse, as without one the club is unlikely to go ahead.
Grandfather Ken Slater, 73, from Burniston, helps run the Gardening Club and has been volunteering at the school garden twice a week since his retirement seven years ago. Two of his grandchildren attend the school, and he says that the loss has left the children “absolutely devastated”.
“A lot of the children come into school early to help water the plants. When they saw the damage they couldn’t believe it.
“The kids all love gardening, and some still ask to come to the club even after leaving the school.
“It helps keep them fit and teaches them a lot about responsibility and looking after things.
“They all really enjoy the club, but without a greenhouse we can’t really go ahead with it.”
Ken described how the winds ripped it straight out of the ground, despite his best efforts in safeguarding the structure.
“I had placed it behind an 8ft fence, and made sure it was securely put together.
“However, the winds must have been so strong that it just ripped it straight out of the ground. I couldn’t believe it.”
Jill Tiffany is the school’s headteacher and helps to run the Gardening Club alongside Ken. She said: “The children get a big kick out of gardening, and it teaches them much more than just planting seeds. They learn about buying and selling, supply and demand. It’s almost like they run their own micro-business.
“Ken does a wonderful job here, so much so that he was praised in the last Ofsted report.
“I would hate to see his hard work go to waste, but the reality is we can’t afford to replace it, and unless we get outside help, we will probably have to cancel the Gardening Club this year.”
Anybody wishing to help the school can contact Mrs Tiffany on 01723 870714.