GETTING children to eat vegetables can be a difficult task at times, however pupils have grabbed the pitchfork and spade with both hands to grow their own at school.

Beetroot, lettuce and peas are among the healthy crops sprouting at Ysgol Llannefydd, the village primary school after launching its gardening club at the start of the year.

Groups of up to 16 pupils aged five to 11 have learned how to grow fruit and vegetables, weed, make a bug hotel and lay out bird feed so that wildlife can flourish. They are now growing radish, strawberries, beetroot, lettuce, courgettes, peas, carrots, tomatoes and a variety of herbs that can be eaten from picking.

The school received funding for the project from the EU and Welsh Government’s LEADER programme, which supports rural development initiatives, as well as donations including overalls, tools, seeds and flowers from national gardening firms’ charity schemes.

An Ysgol Llannefydd spokesperson said: “Gardening encourages people to be outside and active, offers mental stimulation in learning and planning, as well as satisfaction from watching things grow. Our efforts with the garden have been praised by parents and teachers at the school as well as residents of Llannefydd who have watched the transformation.”

The school also received praise from the Royal Horticultural Society and was awarded level one and two in RHS School Gardening Awards which aims to get children to grow plants, use tools safely, understand basic gardening terms as well as environmental issues.

The Ysgol Llannefydd spokesperson added: “We have lots more planned for September when the children return to school, and over the summer have a dedicated team of volunteers who are helping to keep everything watered and the weeds under control! We are also planning to enter some of our produce at Llannefydd village flower show in August.

“We hope that our gardening club is offering benefits to the children who attend as well as inspiring some green fingered gardeners of the future!”

You can follow the Ysgol Llannefydd gardening club on Twitter @clwbgarddio or on the school’s Facebook page.