STUDENTS are enjoying seeing the fruits of their labour at a newly opened community allotment.

The South Lakes Community Garden, at Rinkfield allotments in Kendal, was officially opened by the town’s mayor, councillor Douglas Rathbone, in May.

The garden, coordinated by South Lakes Academy and educational support worker Stephen Whitehouse, is specifically designed for young people with special educational needs and aims to develop their horticultural skills to support their mental health and well-being, relieve anxiety and build confidence.

Pupils from South Lakes Academy are already being rewarded for their hard work and have seen their plants shoot up in the last few weeks, with their potatoes and sweet peas flourishing.

“Most of our planters are now in use and the students got really excited when they saw the massive growth of the plants in such a short period of time,” said South Lakes Academy head teacher Tunde Christie.

“Our potatoes are nearly one metre high and pea pods are appearing on the sweet pea plants.

“There are another five to six plots available for anyone who wishes to get involved in this project.

“Having a town centre location, the allotment also gives us an opportunity to take our lessons outside which is great in this hot summer term.

“We are hoping that next year we can make even more use of this project as we only had a short window of opportunity to plant this year.”

The project attracted a huge community response when it launched earlier this year and local businesses rallied with offers of materials and labour to help build the garden, which has a variety of raised beds for growing plants, flowers and vegetables.

It also boasts a summer house, a covered area, and a fire pit.

There are still some raised beds available, and they are free to use for suitable applicants.

To make enquiries contact South Lakes Academy head teacher, Tunde Christie on 07879 675530 or Stephen Whitehouse at Jigsaw Family Support on 07730 537405.