RHS School Gardening Champion of the Year 2015

Ann Huggans
Special Educational Needs Teacher at Arrochar Primary School in Tarbet, Argyll and Bute

About Ann

Ann has inspired gardening in the school for many years. The school grounds were quite neglected a number of years ago until Ann and some other PTA members applied for lottery funding and transformed the grounds into a beautiful community garden with a decked area, raised beds, polytunnel and a path leading along the burn to the shore. Since the makeover, Ann has overseen planting of trees to form an orchard, organised fundraising events to fund a life-sized pirate ship in the school grounds and gardening resources, and formed a gardening club.

All children in the school are involved in the gardening club on a rota basis and Ann teaches them many skills such as planting fruit and veg, weeding and harvesting. The children then take the food they have harvested and give it to the canteen to be turned into soup, jam, smoothies, pickled veg and delicious beetroot brownies. Ann has also taught the pupils the importance of composting, recycling and sustainability, and has taught the pupils life-cycles by observing tadpoles and butterflies. Ann is always making plans and is looking to fundraise further to develop the orchard with more planting and enhance the play area for the nursery children.

Judges’ comments

“Ann is the kind of teacher we all wish we had. Kind, modest, inspiring, nurturing, encouraging and with an amazing vision and creativity. She clearly wants her pupils to enjoy their school experience and develop a true love of the outdoors. Her plans and ability to get them underway were nothing short of miraculous. Great plants and borders too. Not a nibble from a slug in sight!”

“Fantastic diversity of creations at the school, and bowled over by the quality. Organising such funding and work parties is no small task, and the results speak for themselves. Super success story.”

“Ann is an all-round wonder woman, teaching the children everything from basic gardening skills right through to the science of the garden and wildlife within it. She has done an incredible amount for the school and is always making plans that she sees through to completion. An absolute star and a credit to her school.”

Ann's entry video

See the profiles of our other finalists:

Peter Edwards

Martin Billett
Natalie Sacre

We've won awards!

Winner of the Drum Marketing Awards 2017
Winner of the ERA 2017 awards
Winner of the Third Sector 2017 awards