Gardening used to improve learning

Introducing children with special educational needs to garden and greenhouse activities is a great way to help them develop a hunger for learning.

A project run by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) during the 2009-10 academic year found that doing so can help improve team working skills and willingness to participate in activities.

The report into the scheme revealed that kids with autism, behavioural, emotional and social difficulties, cystic fibrosis, hearing impairment and dyslexia could all benefit from being taught botany at school.

"I could see my young gardeners changing as the year progressed, growing in confidence, being more interested in what was going on and interacting better with other children and adults," explained RHS special educational needs schools project officer Hayley Young.

Her position was created thanks to the generous legacy left by former RHS member Peter Rees, whose cash made the Growing Together: Gardening with Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs project a possibility.

In other news, the RHS has made tickets available for its 2011 shows.