A group of children from Dartmouth Academy are taking part in a sunflower growing competition with other local schools. Pupils have grown the sunflower plants from seeds at the school and have now planted them in Coronation Park alongside their competitors.

Once the plants have had time to grow and bloom, the sunflowers will be judged to see who has grown the tallest one, and the winner will receive a trophy for their horticultural efforts.

Paul Giradot, Headteacher at Dartmouth Academy, said: “At Dartmouth Academy, we believe in building long-lasting relationships with pupils and their families and take pride in being at the heart of our community. As such, it’s lovely to be taking part in this competition which not only will help brighten up the town but has also encouraged our pupils to enjoy some gardening!”

Matthew Shanks, CEO of Education South West, said: “I was delighted to hear that Dartmouth Academy pupils have been growing sunflowers to be planted in the town, and I will keep my fingers crossed that they grow very tall! At Education South West, we strongly believe in the value of outdoor learning, and I hope taking part in this competition will encourage some children to develop their green fingers.”

The sunflowers were planted during National Children’s Gardening Week. National Children’s Gardening Week was the idea of Neil Grant, BBC Radio Sheffield’s garden expert and co-presenter of their weekly garden phone-in, and it’s widely supported by the whole of the UK garden industry. It’s now an annual festival across the country.