Derbyshire teenager puts other youngsters to shame

While most teenage boys can be found spending their free time playing computer games or watching TV, a schoolboy from Derbyshire has been recognised for his extra-curricular efforts in the horticultural field.

Joshua Clark, 14, has secured a civic award from Ripley Town Council, which is attempting to help local people save money by encouraging them to grow their own fruit and vegetables.

Mill Hill School pupil Joshua has been gardening for four years and has recently been spending up to 40 hours a week at his local allotment.

According to council leader Juliette Blake, more youngsters should follow his example as it is a worthwhile and beneficial activity.

"Its marvellous this award has been won by someone so young," she told

"Joshua is getting lots of fresh air and exercise when many children prefer to sit in front of a computer.

"His allotment was admired by experts who said they were very impressed."

Joshua grows potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, cabbages, melons and "loads more" at his allotment, and is also growing a pumpkin indoors in preparation for Halloween.

People looking to grow their own produce can aid their endeavours by making use of a greenhouse or a cold frame.