A SCHOOL near Petersfield has received a top award from the UK’s leading gardening charity, the Royal Horticultural Society, in recognition of its green-fingered achievements.

Dunhurst, Bedales’ preparatory school in Steep, is a member of the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and caters for children aged eight to 13, teaching subjects such as outdoor work and lessons in sustainability.

Dunhurst has been a member of the RHS Campaign for School Gardening since 2015.

The campaign is a nationwide initiative that inspires and supports schools to provide children with gardening opportunities to enhance their skills and boost their development.

Schools are helped to progress in their garden with the RHS School Gardening Awards, a scheme made up of five levels offering resources and guidance from the planning stages through to integrating the garden into daily school life.

Upon completing each level, the green-fingered school is awarded a certificate and a prize.

Ryan Walsh, head of outdoor work at Dunhurst, said: “Horticulture is a personal passion, and I am delighted that the pupils have also shown such enthusiasm, particularly growing their own fruit and vegetables.

“Every child in the school has been involved in horticulture in some way, whether it be sowing seeds, grafting apple trees, building compost bins and vegetable beds, weeding or harvesting.

“But the pupils have also taken this passion out into the community, and we have a regular gardening slot at our local church in Steep and have helped with planting schemes at St James’ Primary School in Emsworth.”

For reaching level five, Dunhurst has been awarded £200 in national garden gift vouchers and an RHS Five-Star Gardening School plaque which is on display in the grounds.

Green-fingered Josh, a year eight pupil, said: “I like to garden because it is a very nice feeling to know that you are growing your own food, know where it has come from, and that it is healthy.”