Chatsworth is launching its first children’s gardening club to allow young budding growers to nurture their very own growing patch throughout the seasons.
The Little Pips Gardening Club for children aged 3-5 will be filled with hands-on sessions growing fruit, vegetables and flowers, as well as lots of creative activities to give nature a helping hand from making butterfly feeding stations and a wormery to planting bee-friendly plants.
The fortnightly club launches 7 March with a sunflower planting session with other seasonal activities lined up for the months ahead to include making a pea propagator in April; going on a bumblebee safari in May and harvesting pumpkins planted earlier in the year in October.
The sessions will take place in the outdoor learning centre, Chatsworth’s Stickyard, where the children will be growing their own produce in specially created raised beds for vegetables, fruit and flowers, and having a go at watering, weeding and making sure all the plants are happy.
Tina Carter, Landscape Engagement Facilitator for Chatsworth, said: “As well as the benefits of being outdoors for children's wellbeing, teaching children to grow their own produce is a fantastic way to build confidence, have fun and introduce them to new fruits and vegetables.
“We are hoping children will come regularly enough to see all their work develop as the seasons change; there is nothing more rewarding than planting a tiny seed and then watching it transform into a huge pumpkin in the autumn. The club will give our budding gardeners the chance to enjoy being outdoors, make friends and learn new skills while having fun.”
Chatsworth will also be encouraging families to get outdoors this half term with the opening of the farmyard from 19-27 February. Little ones can get face to face with the farmyard animals, enjoy animal handling sessions, take part in creative crafts and explore the winter woods in tractor and trailer rides at no additional cost.
Visitors can also cosy up by a fire with Chatsworth’s first-ever fire pit bake-offs taking place 22-23 February. Bakers can have a go at making tasty campfire bread and orange chocolate brownies over a fire-pit, before finishing with toasting marshmallows and a warming cup of hot chocolate.
With plenty of suitable trails for all ages and abilities, family members of all ages can take advantage of the free parking throughout the winter season and explore Chatsworth’s variety of parkland and woodland walks.