School in final for RHS Chatsworth garden design award

Chaucer Junior School pupils visited the Nottingham office of Leonard Design Architects as part of the project with gardening club leader Kerry Wheatley.
Chaucer Junior School pupils visited the Nottingham office of Leonard Design Architects as part of the project with gardening club leader Kerry Wheatley.

A bug hotel created by budding architects at an Ilkeston school have been shortlisted for a top prize at the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show.

The year four class of Chaucer Junior School, on Cranmer Street, teamed up with Leonard Design Architects for the competition.

Architect John Morgan and teacher Jane Oldnall helped inspire the youngsters.

Architect John Morgan and teacher Jane Oldnall helped inspire the youngsters.

The Royal Horticulture tasked schools across the region with meeting a brief for a creepy-crawly habitat on the theme of ‘inspiring architecture: past, present and future’.

Class teacher Jane Oldnall said: “We are thrilled to have made it through to the final stages of the competition.

“We have one entry in the finals but the entire class has been working really hard to bring the ‘Chaucer Bug and Breakfast’ design to life.”

The team at Leonard Design gave pupils professional advice and helped whittle the entries down to one for submission to the competition.

They also hosted a class discussion about a career in architecture.

Jane added: “John very kindly gave some excellent feedback on the top seven designs and the children left feeling very inspired and enthusiastic about their projects which was fantastic to see.

Leonard Design director John Morgan said: “I was really impressed with the variety of ideas from the pupils – each design was really well thought out, demonstrating that they had completely understood quite a difficult brief from RHS Chatsworth.

He added: “The next generation is incredibly important to the continued success of architecture as an industry, especially in the East Midlands.

“With that in mind, having the children in to meet the team and show them what we do was really valuable and will hopefully give them the extra passion to take home the prize at the flower show.”

The inaugural RHS Chatsworth event is being held at the estate June 7-11, celebrating design revolutionaries.

The winners of the competition will receive a certificate and garden centre vouchers worth up to £200.

The school’s participation is the latest in a growing list of successes for its gardening programme, which is popular among pupils and staff.

Jane said: “I must also give a huge thanks to Kerry Wheatley, founder of our gardening club, for entering the class into the competition and supporting with the project.”

For full programme details on RHS Chatsworth, visit www.rhs.org.uk.

To learn more about Leonard Design’s work, visit www.leonarddesignarchitects.com.