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Community Kids

Community Kids Project

The Community Kids from the Bay have been personally selected to represent the Isle if Wight and participate in a project to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War.  They will be working with Osborne House Gardens and Grounds Staff to create a “Battlefields to Butterflies” commemorative ‘meadow’ in the walled garden at Osborne House as a joint Royal Parks Guild/English Heritage initiative. The Osborne meadow forms part of events to commemorate all Parks, Gardens and Ground staff, across the U.K., killed in action during WW1.  We made our first of three visits to Osborne House on Friday and learned that a key element of the project was to remember two Islanders, Ernest Johnson (died 30th December 1917) and Charles Mew  (died 15th July 1916) who both worked for the Royal Parks.  During our first afternoon session we planted poppy and cornflower seeds in the very potting shed that these men would have worked.  It was a very moving and productive afternoon which involved learning experiences in maths, history, science, geography.  The children planted 28 trays of seeds and we cannot wait to return in May and transplant the seedlings.  We are privileged to be part of this project and hope you will follow our journey which will form part of a commemorative feature at the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2018.  


Our latest Community Kids initiative involved planting herbs in our four new planters  at the station, in collaboration with the railway and ‘Aspire’, a group based in Ryde.  We have created four ‘Community Herb’ planters than can be accessed and used by the whole community who can come along, snip a few herbs and use them in their cooking!  Sandown station and community kids  were the first chosen to launch this initiative, we had photographs taken with a representative from Aspire and a local councillor.  

See article from County Press. 

“GREEN-fingered primary school children rallied round to plant flowers and herbs at Sandown station, following recent vandalism. Children and their teachers from The Bay CE Primary School filled planters with colourful blooms and native herbs, replacing plants removed or damaged by vandals earlier this year.

Wreckers had not only removed hanging baskets and other floral arrangements from outside the station and on the platform but they also damaged the station’s popular Gaslight cafe and toilet. It has all now been repaired.

Herbs were courtesy of lottery-funded Grow Wild at Kew Gardens and Alice Thorp, community gardens co-ordinator at Aspire, Ryde, helped plant them. Morrisons supermarket also donated plants.

Youngsters from the school had already planted ten fruit trees, given by Graham Deacon, of Deacon’s Nursery, Godshill, at the station.Tuesday’s event, organised by Bill Wyke who runs the after school club Community Kids, was attended by Sandown North Cllr Debbie Andre and Community Rail Partnership Officer Bobby Lock-Dean.

Mr Wyke said the children did a wonderful job.He said: “They were really enthusiastic and with the help of their teachers replaced many damaged plants. The station looks a lot better now.”

Battlefields to Butterflies

The children from Community Kids went on their second of three visits to Osborne House.  We were excited and full of anticipation as we wondered how our seeds, that we planted back in the cooler day in March, had grown.  We arrived to see our designated area looking very eerie and desolate, just as a battlefield would have looked like after conflict during the First World War!  There were dead trees, crosses and craters left from the bombs dropped from the sky.  We were amazed how our seeds had grown and got straight to work planting the seedlings into the ground.  We planted over 200 plug plants and then finished by scattering seeds that have been collected from true battlefields and commemorative areas where many lost their lives.  Our visit concluded with a rare glimpse of the sprinklers which are usual activated by a timer during the night, to avoid evaporation from the sun.  We cannot wait to return to our site again in June to see how the area will look, hopefully greener and ready to transform into a carpet of colour.  Hard work, a wonderful experience and again so many curriculum areas covered.  

Please continue to watch this space.  Mike Fitt OBE came along to join us today.  He instigated this project and highly regards the work that the Community Kids do.  We may be invited to a rather special occasion.  We will wait and see….

Click here for some background info on Battlefields to Butterflies

Battlefields to Butterflies – Update

We returned to Osborne House yesterday to see how well our plants and seeds are growing. The flowers are beginning to show with the poppies and cornflowers beginning to raise their heads from the battleground.  Community Kids weeded the area and painted commemorative crosses.  The children were then invited to assemble before the Deputy Lord Lieutenant where they received a certificate to thank them for participating in the project.  We sang world war songs in front of parents and many guests and then laid our white crosses to commemorate all those soldiers who lost their lives in the First World War. 

The Community Kids were invited over to The Briars to share Easter fun with the residents.  We gave them the cards we had made for them and then participated in an Easter egg hunt!

The children were able to see their wonderful display of daffodils that we worked hard to plant back in November for the residents to enjoy.

A very enjoyable afternoon.