The competition launched in May, when, in celebration of 2015 as The Year of the Sunflower, Hayes Garden World, together with specialist creative education charity Creative Futures Cumbria, launched a nationwide competition for primary school children who were asked to come up with a striking design for a new range of sunflower seed packets.
The competition captured the attention of teachers and children throughout the UK. Some 33,500 entry forms were issued, spanning schools as far south as Cornwall and as far north as Aberdeen. Ultimately, 3,950 entries were received from 264 registered schools.
The entries went on display at the Hayes Garden World store in Ambleside during the summer months, and customers were asked to vote for the ones they liked best. More than 1,400 customers voted and their votes determined the winning designs. Monetary prizes have been awarded to all the schools attended by the winners and their winning designs will be printed on sunflower seed packets which will be on sale in Hayes Garden World this autumn.
The winners were :
1st Prize : £1,000
Eight year old Amber Thomas from Great Berry Primary School, Basildon, Essex
2nd Prize : £750
Six year old Benjamin Rowley from Ambleside Primary School, Ambleside, Cumbria
Joint 3rd Prize : £250 each
Nine year old Ruby Storey from Newlaithes Junior School, Carlisle, Cumbria
Six year old Jed Tansley from Ghyllside Primary School, Kendal, Cumbria
Lyndan Orvis, website manager at Hayes Garden World, said: "We all hoped that this educational competition would prove popular, but in the event it has exceeded all our expectations. All the entries were a delight to see and so we have decided that as well as the monetary prizes which go to the four winning schools, we will be providing all the schools who entered with a selection of sunflower seeds featuring the winning designs so that they can create a stunning sunflower display in their school grounds next year. We have also created a Legacy image compiled from all the designs we received, which is on display at the Garden Centre and on our website."