School children learning about growing plants in a greenhouse at Holkham Walled Garden

Learning

Education at Holkham Walled Garden

Working with local schools, we currently host regular visits from the primary school in the nearby village of Burnham Market. Year 5 and 6 pupils visit us with their teacher, Mr Fisher, once every half term to help us with various tasks that need doing. Each year we host a competition for the students, which involves designing four of the flower beds in the events room of the walled garden. The students design the layout, suggest the plants to be used and create their own colourful schemes. All entries are judged by The Countess of Leicester who selects four designs. Burnham Market Primary School students then plant these winning layouts and the students are also involved in maintaining the flower beds.

We also work with our local secondary school, Alderman Peel High School. Two groups of students visit us on a weekly basis during term time whilst they undertake an NVQ in Horticulture. We are really lucky to work with Easton & Otley College who provide the tutor with our team facilitating their visits. Some of these students have also chosen to undertake their work experience with us and one student was lucky enough to work part-time with us in summer 2015.

Writtle College from Chelmsford, Essex, visit us annually for their horticulture students to undertake some practical work experience. The students are particularly useful in the walled garden as they are old enough to undertake some tasks that younger pupils are unable to.

We are strong supporters of work based learning and vocational skills and have worked in partnership with Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse offering placements for students on their Skills for the Future course.

Our aim is to build on this work and offer a year-round educational programme to visiting schools and colleges through the Beyond the Walls project. However, we do not want learning to stop after school and will be offering several different educational workshops and events aimed at both the complete novice and the expert. These workshops and events will not just be limited to horticulture as there will be heritage skill opportunities such as willow weaving, floristry, painting and photography and much more. This project will see the appointment of a dedicated Learning and Engagement Co-ordinator who will be responsible for developing and delivering this exciting programme.

Education is at the heart of the walled garden restoration project and we are looking forward to seeing it expand and develop as we work closely with the local community.