Skip nav

Rural Sussex pre-school secures allotment to nurture next generation of eco warriers

Preparing the pre-school allotment

Having the allotment is a great excuse for us to engage with other members of the community

- Allotment will offer children fantastic environment for problem solving, team working, lessons in self sufficiency - and a link with their wider village community

- New “Growing up Green” project seeks community engagement for gardening advice and donations of seeds and tools

A rural pre-school in Sussex is adding allotment sessions to its curriculum after securing a plot next door to its premises, after several years on the waiting list.

Blackboys Pre-School near Uckfield in East Sussex was delighted to hear that it had been successful in getting hold of a plot. The allotment will allow the children to spend time outside of their pre-school environment – albeit just a few metres away – to grow vegetables, fruit and plants and keep chickens, under supervision of staff, during their sessions at the pre-school.

It will not only teach them practical skills from a very young age, but also help them to explore their natural environment, build their confidence and boost their independence – and all while getting a bit muddy. It will offer them problem solving, team working and lessons in the basics of self sufficiency. They are even hoping that it will allow the children to grow their own snacks!

Green issues underpin the pre-school’s ethos. It already enjoys a close collaboration with a forest school, the Mohair Centre (www.mohaircentre.co.uk) in nearby Chiddingly, which offers a wide variety of outdoor activities aimed at getting children to use their imagination and gain a greater understanding of their surrounding environment.

To celebrate having its own allotment, the pre-school held an allotment dig over on Sunday 12 June. Parents and children braved the elements to transform the plot from neglected wasteland to a blank canvas for the pre-school children to begin planting fruit and vegetables.

Pre-school manager Jenny Novkovic says: “Having the allotment is a great excuse for us to engage with other members of the community. We’d love to get to know other allotment holders, and it would be great if they could share their tips with our children.

“Blackboys Pre-School is an important part of our local community. We’d love to engage with local people, regardless of whether or not they have children at the pre-school. It’s an opportunity to transcend generations and build a real sense of community into this rural village,” Novkovic adds.

The pre-school is also appealing for donations of any unwanted garden tools or seeds to help kick start its allotment project. Mikyla Elsey, chair of the parent-led pre-school committee says: “Any tools would be greatly appreciated – we’ve already had a few donations, from a shed to a packet of seeds. We are immensely grateful for anything we are given. Being able to offer our children this experience is a wonderful opportunity. It’s a skill that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.”

If you would like to donate any garden tools, get involved in Blackboys Pre-School’s “Growing up Green” project or find out more about Blackboys Pre-School, contact Jenny on 01825 890 or email enquiries@blackboyspreschool.org.uk

About Blackboys Pre-School
Blackboys Pre-School, established almost 30 years ago, provides a wonderful, nurturing environment for children aged between two and five, in a fabulous rural setting – at the heart of a vibrant village community. Rated ‘good’ by Ofsted, and with close links to Blackboys C of E Primary School just down the road, we are open daily during school term times from 8.45am to 3.30pm and pride ourselves on developing the self confidence and self esteem of our children in a small and caring environment. Blackboys Pre-School a great choice for childcare and pre school education, preparing children for Uckfield schools and those in Heathfield and surrounding villages. For more information see the website at www.blackboyspreschool.org.uk
For media enquiries

Jenny Novkovic, Blackboys Pre School supervisor
Email: enquiries@blackboyspreschool.org.uk
Tel: 01825 891113

Rachel Fielding, Pre School committee secretary
Email: Rachel@rachelfielding.co.uk
Tel: 07815 781069