A WINCHESTER school teamed up with Hampshire Gardens Trust to create an 'edible playground'.

Children at Oliver’s Battery Primary and Nursery unveiled the project at a small outdoor function.

They spoke with the Mayor Cllr Vivian Achwal about the inspiration behind the playground, which is full of plants to provide healthy food.

“It is so important to encourage children to develop healthy eating habits, so understanding of their local environment and where their food comes from is crucial," said the Mayor, Cllr Achwal.

"This project is a wonderful example of how children can learn and experience growing as part of a rich and varied curriculum."

Project leader and professional gardener and horticulturalist Ruth Farley set to work in February with the children and a group of volunteers.

The garden is now full of produce including a vibrant pollination bed for insects.

HGT chairman, Ted Wake, who was at the garden opening added: “It was a wonderful occasion and great to see the Mayor mingling with children, supporters, Governors, PTA members and the Oliver's Battery School team. The Hampshire Gardens Trust is proud to be associated with the school and very much hope that the OBS Garden Plans for Schools project becomes a beacon of excellence to inspire other schools in the wider county."

Headteacher Carly Redfern added: "It has been an incredible opportunity for our school community to work together with Hampshire Gardens Trust on developing the Edible Playground.

"All children, including our new Nursery Class, have had the opportunity to spend time planting seeds, watch them grow and sample some of the produce.

"It has been a joy to watch all children get involved and learn so much about horticulture. It is so exciting to think how these skills will support children in their future careers. We can't wait to continue the project next year and begin to embed the Edible Playground into our classroom practice.

"Our Year 5/6 team are already planting crops so that children can have a real experience of rationing when they tackle their World War One project in the autumn term."