Finedon vicar Rev Richard Coles launches school allotment at his final engagement

The allotment will be used by pupils from Finedon Infant School to learn about the environment

Saturday, 23rd April 2022, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 25th April 2022, 4:46 pm

A school allotment restored to glory by a green-fingered family has been formally opened by the vicar of Finedon, Rev Richard Coles – his last official engagement before he retires.

Allotment owners Bud and Sue Abbott, with help from their family, have transformed a plot provided by Finedon Allotment and Gardening Association Limited to be used by pupils.

The Finedon Infant School Allotment project will give pupils the space to learn about the environment and grow their own flowers, fruit and vegetables in the zoned outdoor classrooms.

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l-r Bud and Sue Abbott cleared shoulder-high weeds from the plot

Rev Coles, who is also a school governor, said: “One of the reasons why I loved being vicar of Finedon is the amazing community spirit. Providing this allotment for our young people so they will grow – it is such a fantastic addition.”

As well as unveiling a commemorative plaque, Rev Coles helped a pupil to plant a tree to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Guests toured the plot brought back to life by the Abbotts. The project was nearing completion when a freak storm in October 2021 destroyed much of their work.

Mr Abbott said: “We and our small army of helpers have become proud of our achievements. The icing on the cake will be seeing these children use what we spent 23 months on.

The pupils in the Rose Orchard

"It’s on my bucket-list to teach children. I have already got a timetable sorted out.”

The allotment has a compost area, raised beds, polytunnel, storage shed, chemical loo and an orchard all completed with top soil donation from Huws Gray, and recycled wood.

Sarah Rae, early years lead at Finedon Infant School, said: “Having the space and the facilities we will be able to get outside and plant - the allotment adds a new dimension. The pupils can plant seeds and it gives them sense of ownership. The first sessions start next week and they will do five activities on a round-robin basis.”

Pupils had time to explore the new outdoor classroom area and enjoyed sitting in the orchard area.

The polytunnel

Myah, seven, who planted an oak tree on the plot, said: “I’m looking forward to coming down here. It’s really nice.”

Raffy, four, and Oscar, six, added: “We would like to grow lemons and limes.”

l-r Myah plants the tree with Rev Richard Coles and Sue Abbott
Rev Richard Coles with children from Finedon Infant School
Rev Richard Coles and Bud Abbott