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T-level Horticulture students at Cirencester College continue to relish opportunities to showcase their fantastic work. One of their most recent projects saw them working in partnership with World Jungle and Cirencester Town Council to create flower beds for the ‘Welcome to Cirencester’ signs around the town.

The students were offered a grant from World Jungle, and given a brief of coming up with ideas to improve the community in which we live. The class had several group discussions, and utilised street view maps to help develop their ideas. Inspired by other villages and towns who have flower beds next to their ‘Welcome’ signs, they suggested to the Council that they could create some.

The students liaised with Cirencester Town Council, and looked at every entry into Cirencester to work out which were the most prominent, accessible, and safest areas to work on, using risk assessments and method statements.

All of the plants were grown by the students in the College polytunnels, and there was a mixture of annuals, perennials, and shrubs. This ensured maximum year-round interest, in texture and colour, but also minimal maintenance requirement. The students also considered the placement of the plants to achieve the best visual impact, putting the taller ones at the back near the hedgerows, and smaller ones to the front. The students also made timber frames, and sized them to fit the available space at the different locations.

The students also thought about how to make this as sustainable as possible. The timber frames used were Forest Stewardship Council approved, and the plant pots used will be reused for future projects.

This project was a wonderful opportunity for the students to gain an understanding of the types of practices they would be carrying out in a career in the Horticulture industry, such as identifying need, seeking permission, estimating time and cost, sourcing funding and materials, risk assessing, designing, production, and more.

Year 1 student Daniel said “I come into College every day from Bibury and hardly noticed the welcome sign before. Now, I’m going to look every day and see how our plants grow!”

Year 1 student Katie said, “It was nice to grow the plants knowing they would be on display for everyone to see.”

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