BICTON College and Buckfastleigh Primary School have formed a new partnership to teach children about the environment and the importance of being more eco-friendly.

Staff from the east Devon college have been conducting a series of workshops at the school and donated a hydroponics system and plenty of plants.

The Buckfastleigh school’s headmaster, Richard Arundell, said: ‘The idea of the project is that it will bring together a love of the outdoors, gardening, food and the whole eco agenda. It will encourage the children to be greener.’

The project, which has already sparked much enthusiasm from pupils and staff, will also allow the youngsters to gain more skills, including cooking, gardening, farming and learning about environmental studies.

Mr Arundell said: ‘The overall aims of the project are to educate the students, reduce our energy use, recycle as much water on site as we can, composting all our food waste and eventually feeding our own crops into the school kitchen.

‘Bicton College has been kind and donated the resources to start the project partnership which we are keen to develop with Bicton.’

Plants donated by the college have been used by pupils to create a garden and to enter the Royal Horticultural Society’s annual ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ competition.

The garden will be one of 11 to be judged - and results will be given out in the next couple of weeks.

The school’s eco project coordinator, Belinda Martin, said: ‘I am really looking forward to developing this project and working in partnership with Bicton College.

‘I studied there on the RHS Level 2 in Practical Horticulture and received fantastic training.

‘I am now using my skills to teach primary school children about gardening, food production, waste management systems and sustainability.’

She added: ‘I think it is very important for students to know where their food comes from and to learn about the environment and how we are impacting it.

‘It is all about collaborating with the community to make a positive difference to the world.’