Around 50 Lower 5 girls from the Maynard School for Girls in Exeter came to Parke in Bovey Tracey today to help the National Trust in the Walled Garden and the orchard. The day out was one of Maynard's contributions to 'Girls go Green Week'.
Listen to our podcast where Maynard staff and pupils are interviewed about their day out. Click the title of the blog - 'Maynard girls go green' to download the podcast - be warned it gets noisy by the end!
Over the weekend we will also have edited the video of the day and we will include highlights in this blog - come back later to view it.
The award winning Walled Garden was a 'jungle' 18 months ago and has been restored by the National Trust and Bovey Climate Action so that vegetables and fruit can once again be grown to feed local people. There is even a solar powered pump which raises water from the well to water the plants. Its possibly the greenest Walled Garden in Devon.
The wider aim of the project is to cut carbon emissions, in our fight against climate change, from food by growing it locally thus reducing 'food miles', rather than importing food from further afield and abroad. The project was recently featured on BBC Radio 4's You and Yours programme.
Wardens from all over Dartmoor came to Parke to help the girls with the work today. Adrian Colston, Property Manager for Dartmoor said "Today has been a real success and has made a big difference. With the girls' help we have managed to harvest the entire year's crop of apples which will now be made into apple juice, we have created a wetland area for the garden's wildlife, we have created a composting area and have begun to install a new path which will allow people with disabilities who help in the Walled Garden every week get around more easily and safely. Without the helping hands from the Maynard this would have taken us months!"
This Saturday Parke is hosting a series of events to mark the apple harvest - during the day we are hosting a free Apple Orchard Day in partnership with Bovey Climate Action. In the evening we are holding an event called Heathen Harvest - celebration of drama, music, dance and food - tickets are still available so why not come along?