Rooted in Learning: A teenage ROOSE Day in Regenerative Horticulture
"My anticipation grows as I await the arrival of the ROOSE (Ryedale Out of School Education) Group. These young people face challenges within the conventional classroom setting due to heightened sensitivity, learning obstacles, childhood trauma, or a combination of these factors. Consequently, this may manifest as disruptive behaviour or low attendance at school. ROOSE is dedicated to offering personalised alternatives for these students, whether in a nurturing smaller classroom setting or in offsite vocational environments.
My mission however, is to actively involve these young souls in our ambitious project: the development of a regenerative, horticultural and conservation woodland initiative. Nestled within a picturesque 6-acre site, we cultivate fruit and vegetables while enriching woodland biodiversity through the propagation and planting of a diverse range of flora. As I inform the group, the tasks they undertake align with what I would be doing, whether they are present or not.
We had no specific plans for the group when they recently arrived as we were unsure of how many students were going to turn up. As soon as they arrived we headed to the polytunnels to harvest the tomatoes. I got them to try a few of the tomatoes and the students loved them and even said they were better than the supermarket ones.
We proceeded into the propagating tunnels, discussing what is needed for a seed to germinate. We concoct a mixture of soil, compost, and grit to propagate stitchwort and primroses for the woodland area. We are introducing flowers here that pollinators like because we need them for the apple, pear, and plum orchard.
It is great to see that the students have been learning something. They had a glimpse of the connectedness of life. This was not a planned learning objective of the day. It came about on it’s own accord.
Later that day, along with our team, the students were tasked with affixing wire to the posts that were cemented the day before. They carefully cut the wire to size, hammered in the staples to attach it to the posts, and connected it to the tensioners, making it nice and taunt.
Our project find it’s home in the Howardian Hills of North Yorkshire. It’s part of the Autism Plus charity that runs various projects in the North of England. My role is simple: to actively engage people with nature and the environment in a positive manner. I hope that by dong so, we may appreciate the interconnections of life and preserve it sensitively. After all if we pollute the air, we breathe it. If we release untreated sewage into rivers and seas, we swim in it and consume it. If habitat is destroyed, we disrupt the ecosystems that sustain us. I think even the cavemen knew the logic of not polluting upstream!
Our efforts here are merely a drop in the ocean, but collectively, drops can make a wave. We have been kindly been supported by the Howardian Hills AOMB."
- Ambrose, Park House Barns