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The `Secret Garden` was officially opened by the famous children’s author Terry Deary in 2001.
In the Secret Garden there are lots of things for us to do and see, including a fence where each post has been carved with a pupils name who were at the school when the Secret Garden was completed.
There is a large outdoor play area for our younger children which has a huge sand tray with water feature …..we can paddle in this when the weather is hot and sunny.
Through the willow walkway there is a sundial where we can stand on the spot in the centre creating a shadow and to show us the time. The tiered seating area is used as an outdoor theatre or an outdoor classroom.
The garden path has lots of colourful flowers, plants and bushes either side with a sheep seat carved from stone by the artist Keith Alexander. The design is from a quilt that can be found in ‘The Bowes Museum’, Barnard Castle. Further down the path is our ‘Fairy Garden’ with ring of toadstool seats where we can sit and chat.
Walking past the stile our ‘Giraffe family’ poke their long necks over the hedge. These were installed by our Zimbabwean artists who spent 3 weeks working with us in May 2011.
Then we enter the maze! Hidden in the maze are lots of metal sculptures, designed on the millennium bug theme. Exploring the maze you will find Roger the ram and Matilda the cow, our metal life-size sculptures. These guide you to the bird hide which lets us watch birds in the pond area without them knowing!
Leaving the maze we enter the ‘Butterfly garden’ and to a gate guarded by a large Millennium bug! Through the gate is the pond area full of fish and a beautiful water feature based on a water Iris. It is peaceful in the pond area and we can sit quietly here if we want to, as long as there is an adult to supervise us!
The beautiful stone sculptures that have been installed were made by our Zimbabwean artists Matthew and Dudsai which incorporate the African theme which links to our partner schools in Tanzania and our work on Zimbabwe.
It is a very special place that is different every year as it grows and changes like us!
“A mouse took a stroll through the deep dark wood. The fox saw the mouse and the mouse looked good.”
Walk further into the deep dark wood, and discover what happens when the quick-thinking mouse comes face to face with an owl, a snake and a hungry gruffalo…..
Our Gruffalo Trail has lots of things related to the story that the children can explore, including large wooden carvings of the animals mentioned in the story. These include: a fox, an owl, a mouse, a gruffalo, and a snake. Some of these carvings have been cleverly designed so that we can sit on them. There is also a slate river over which there is a wooden bridge and a seating area at the far end of the trail.
The climbing frame includes a climbing net, balancing skills can be practiced on the obstacle course, the Wendy House can be used either to play in or climb over and the monkey bars can be climb on or hung upside down from.
Unfortunately, our grant was then cut to £1000 and FOBs then stepped in to offer us more funding so we were still able to go ahead with the project. The actual poly tunnel was purchased locally from Ellipse Fabrications Ltd based at Boldron who also made the raised beds to go inside. We were so lucky to have great parents, Robert & Claire Tiplady and Jason & Janet Williams who worked tirelessly to get the polytunnel erected before the end of term. Garden club were even able to plant peas, tomatoes and butternut squash inside. Compost was also provided by Rotters and we managed to secure more funding from our local councillors which will be used in the future to buy more tools, plants etc.