The Allotment

We are proud to introduce to you our multi award-winning school allotment.

In March 2007, plot 115 at Edgbaston Guinea Gardens Society (EGGS) was overgrown with brambles and shrubs and parts of it were even used as a rubbish dump. In less than two years, thanks to the dedication of students, staff and parents, it was transformed into an award-winning garden.

The idea for establishing an allotment came to Mr James Ede, a music and later science teacher at EHS, who saw the potential for a fantastic educational resource a short walk from the school's playing fields. He thought such a resource would provide opportunities for pupils to learn about growing food and ornamental plants, encouraging wildlife, plant and animal biology, and sustainability issues such as recycling, composting and responsible water usage. Running the allotment would provide opportunities for strengthening relationships within the school community and would also help to build relationships between EHS, the Guinea Gardens and the Botanical Gardens.

After conversations with the EGGS committee, it was agreed that the school would lease part of plot 115 and in March 2007, Birmingham City Council cleared the plot of vegetation and removed two skips of rubbish.

Birmingham Trees for Life in partnership with EGGS sowed half a lawn and later planted it up as a Heritage Apple Orchard. The other half was assigned to EHS. Mr Ede drew up a design for the plot which incorporated raised beds for vegetables, a herb garden, a pond, a mini-meadow, soft-fruit beds, a greenhouse, a shed, a utility area with compost bins and a patio. The ruins of an old bothy (one of only two surviving) were also incorporated into the design.

Over the next two years, with help from staff, students, parents and other plot holders at the gardens, Mr Ede transformed the design into reality. In the Spring term, Mr Ede and Mrs Anne Gelderd started a gardening club for year 6 pupils in the Prep School. The pupils took great pride in helping to build the school allotment. Allotment Open Days were held and staff and parents were invited to see and help the allotment develop.

The allotment was officially opened in July 2009 by Alys Fowler (at the time a presenter on BBC Gardeners' World). In August 2009 the plot was awarded Birmingham City Council's prize for the best new allotment in Birmingham.

In 2009, a gardening club was also established for Senior School pupils and both Prep and Senior school gardening clubs meet on Wednesdays and Fridays after school to keep the allotment looking its best; in addition, Prep School classes often make use of the plots for lessons and picnics. We are thankful to the many helping hands which helped build the allotment into the beautiful and productive place it is today.

In August 2011, we took part in the annual show of the EGGS and were delighted with the results we received which included: third places for apples, carrots and potatoes, second places for our rhubarb, herbs and peas and a first place for our raspberries. The most exciting news was that EHS had won the Ron Orme Trophy for the best exhibit in the show for our display of flowers, all grown on the allotment.

The EHS Allotment is a fun and educational resource that is enjoyed by the whole school community. You can keep up to date with allotment news, photos and events via the main 'News' section of the EHS website.

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