Fairweather's opens eco-friendly Learning Garden

TV wildlife expert Chris Packham has officially opened a "pioneering UK first" for Fairweather's Garden Centre in Beaulieu, Hampshire.

A grant from the New Forest National Park and 50 volunteers has helped transform an empty field into the country's first 100 per cent, environmentally friendly "Learning Garden", Packham said.

Packham marked the opening last week by pulling the first harvest of beetroot and planting a rare Hampshire Heritage fruit tree called Beauty of Hants in front of 100 guests, including Lord Montagu of Beaulieu.

Packham said: "The thing that appeals to me most about the Learning Garden is that it's a community project, which is the key to its sustainability. With all the volunteers already in place, coupled with the involvement of the local schoolchildren, there's a real sense of ownership and a buzz about the place.

"Of course, it's also an area where people can come together and not just learn about gardening, but socialise, share ideas and communicate with each other."

Schoolchildren and gardening enthusiasts are now being invited to get hands-on in the 0.4ha educational space, where they can learn how to plant fruits and vegetables, watch them grow and then enjoy the fresh taste of their organic harvest, all under the tuition of expert growers at no cost.


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