Parents and Community Eco-friendly Course 2012

Hillside Primary School logoHillside Primary School have been running a very successful gardening course for parents and others in the local community. The course is now expanding to take on more activities – and there are a few place left if you’d like to join in.

The course is fortnightly on a Wednesday from 9am to 11am at Hillside Primary on Headfield Road in Newsome.

The next class is on 26th September 2012.


This term, as well as growing vegetables, participants will be cooking with their harvest, learning about garden design, recycling at home, getting energy saving tips and making natural Christmas decorations.

Please contact Laura Merriman, Eco-Schools Leader, if you’d like to take part:

Tel. 01484 226834

Hillside Gardening Course – starts January 2012

Hillside Primary school have accessed funding from Honley Show Community Projects to run a fruit and vegetable Gardening course. The course will include:

Practical sessions to learn the basics of vegetable growing.
Visits to local farms.
Involvement in school growing events.

Access to equipment to grow plants at home.
Personalised growing advice for your garden. For example, growing plants in pots for those with limited garden space.
Taking part in growing and selling plants at Honley Show.

The course starts on Wednesday 25th January 2012 and it will run every other Wednesday morning from 9am to 11am up to the summer term (excluding school holidays).

It will require a high level of commitment to attend the sessions and will involve attending Honely Show on Saturday 9th June 2012.

If you would like a place on this course please email or contact Laura at Hillside Primary on 226834.

Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Hillside’s Harvest Fair 2011

Everyone is welcome to come along to Hillside Primary’s Harvest Fair on Friday 14th October from 2.30pm to 4.30pm. Come along to look round the school, enjoy tea and cake, join in the games, or do some bulb planting.

The school are keen to involve all the community in this event, so all the exhibitions are open to the public to enter.

The exhibition categories are:

• Baking – Victoria Sponge, Tray of buns, Freestyle
• Art with a fruit and veg theme
• Handicraft
• Harvest poem
• Scarecrow
• Fruit
• Vegetables

Please bring your entries to the school on Headfield Road by 1pm on the day.

For further details please contact Laura Merriman or Jill Mellor on 01484 226834.

Vegetable planters for Newsome village

Growing Newsome are hoping to have some vegetable planters in Newsome village centre. The children from Hillside Primary would like to look after the plants, with help from Active Social Care. We’re looking for sources of funding to get the project started, and we’re talking to local businesses and others about where we might be able to put the planters.

We’re really pleased that Hillside Primary approached us with the idea, because this project will help us to promote the fantastic work of all the local food growers across the Newsome area, including the children from local schools.

Having vegetables and salads growing in the village where lots of people will see them every day could make a big difference to everyone – as well as making the area look nicer, it will encourage more people to get growing their own local food. It’s also a good way for us to build stronger relationships between the community and local businesses, which is important if we want to see more locally grown food available in Newsome in the future.

Can you help? Please get in touch if you’d like to:

  • help to build the planters
  • offer us a space to put a planter in
  • sponsor a vegetable planter
  • or help in any other way

Contact us if you’d like to help.

Hillside Primary Harvest Fair

Everyone is welcome to come along to Hillside’s Harvest Show on Thursday 23rd September from 2pm to 4pm. Come along to look round the school, enjoy tea and cake, join in the games, do some bulb planting and lots more. Growing Newsome members will be there to do some planting activities for children in the school grounds (weather permitting).

We’ll also have a display as part of the Fair. You’re very welcome to join in the planting activities too.

The school are keen to involve all the community in this event, so all the exhibitions are open to the public to enter. The exhibition categories are:

• Baking – Victoria Sponge, Tray of buns, Freestyle
• Art with a fruit and veg theme
• Handicraft
• Harvest poem
• Scarecrow
• Fruit
• Vegetables

Please bring your entries to the school on Headfield Road by 1pm on the day.

For further details please contact Laura Merriman or Jill Mellor on 01484 226834.

Hillside Harvest Fair Poster (pdf)

Newsome’s young food growers on BBC Look North


Seed planting - photo: Rob Arthur Photography

Hillside Primary have got off to a fantastic start with their food growing in a day of special activities on 25th March 2010 that were filmed for BBC Look North. Weatherman Paul Hudson was at Hillside throughout the day, and the school will be featured on Look North during the week beginning 29th March.

Hillside is a particularly green school. The building is energy efficient, with solar panels, a biomass boiler, photovoltaic panels and a small educational wind turbine. The school grounds provide the opportunity for alternative learning experiences outside of the traditional classroom environment. There is a large nature area, a pond, raised beds and a greenhouse – places for children to learn, play and grow. 

Tree planting - photo: Rob Arthur Photography

Julian Faulkner from Kirklees Council’s Countryside Unit showed the children how to plant fruit trees at their new school. Hundreds more fruit trees will be planted across Newsome in the coming months, and Julian is co-ordinating the planting programme.

Members of Growing Newsome and Newsome Ward Timebanking helped the children with planting vegetable seeds in raised beds at the school. 

Special thanks to Janet, Cherry, Rob and Rachel for taking part and sharing their enthusiasm about community food growing.

Filming - photo: Rob Arthur Photography

We hope this will be just the first step for Hillside, and we want to support the school with their food growing activities in the coming years. We’re looking for volunteers who could spend some time at the school during the day to help the children with their food growing, and lend a hand with tending the crops throughout the growing year. If you’re interested in taking part, please contact us to find out more.

Paul Hudson’s blog

Sharing our success at the Mayor’s Local Food Awards

You probably don’t need us to tell you that people in Newsome care about local food. What may surprise you is that other people are starting to view what’s happened in Newsome over the past year as a cause for celebration.

Every time that I see someone arrive at a Growing Newsome event bearing an armful of plants, a jar of marrow chutney or a pocket full of runner beans, I’m reminded of how lucky I feel to live in Newsome. I said something along those lines when I got up on the stage at Huddersfield Town Hall on Monday 22nd March 2010 to accept the Community Award for Local Food Initiative 2009 – 2010. I also said that local food growing is about a lot more than just the food. It’s about friendship, ideas and inspiration – a whole bunch of stuff that you can’t get off the shelf at the supermarket.

I told people that local food in Newsome means sharing whatever we have.

Berry Brow I & N

It was a long and (for me) very nervous wait on the evening to find out whether we’d won the Community Award. Earlier that night, we had the great pleasure of seeing two of the education awards going to local schools. Berry Brow Infant & Nursery School won the Primary School Award for Local Food Project, and Newsome High School won the Secondary / Middle School Award for Local Food Project.

Well done to both.

Newsome High School

Three hours later, after our dinner (a lovely vegetable curry in my case) and after much talk around our table about how fantastic Cllr Julie Stewart-Turner has been in her role as Kirklees Mayor, and the Community Award was finally about to be announced. We had the really strange experience of listening to what the judges had said about us, without knowing if it was really us that they were talking about. I also had an awful moment of realising how very disappointed we’d all be if we didn’t win. But suddenly the waiting was over, David ran to the stage and grabbed the award, and I got the chance to tell a room full of people what Growing Newsome is all about.

On the night I was lucky enough to share the stage with four of the many people who have helped to make Growing Newsome such a success in our first year:



Rachel is the co-ordinator of Newsome Ward Timebanking, Huddersfield’s first ever timebanking project, which has taught us so much about valuing and sharing what we have. If you’re not sure what timebanking is, you can find out more at:

Sasi is a curriculum development worker for Kirklees College. Sasi has helped us to bring new learning opportunities to Newsome, both formal and informal. Crucially, she’s helped us to provide learning activities within our own neighbourhood, helping to build up people’s confidence and give us food growing skills that we can pass on from one enthusiastic novice to another.

Janet (a timebanking member) joined our food growing project right at the very beginning. Janet helped out with the food survey that showed us how interested Newsome residents are in growing their own food. My experience of living in Newsome is that if you ask someone to do something to help another person, there’s often no stopping them. Janet is the epitome of that. She hasn’t stopped all year, and shows no hint of letting up now.

It was a great evening, and I only wish that each and every one of you could have been there to see the fantastic response that I got from the people in the hall.

We know that we have something worth celebrating here – and because of the Mayor’s Local Food Awards, a lot of other people now believe that too. The people who we shared our table with (including pie-maker Andrew Jones and Nadio Granata from the University of Huddersfield) told us that it made their night to see us collect our award. The current Deputy Mayor, Cllr Andrew Palfreeman, was amongst those who asked to come and visit us in Newsome and learn more about our work. Most humbling of all, a member of the fantastic MASTT (Marsden and Slaithwaite Transition Towns), who were nominated in the same category as us, came over to congratulate us and very kindly said that we deserved to win.

Janet has two mottos:

1. “You never use a full packet of seed”  (we always have something that can be shared)


2. “What’s next?”

We don’t really know what’s coming next. But we know that we’ve come a long way in a few short months, and we’re going to carry on in the only way we can – together.

Get your grown-ups growing

On 16th October 2009 we ran two events for parents and children at Stile Common. Our activities were right at the end of the final half-term before the two schools merged – so it was also our way of saying goodbye to Stile Common Infants School and Stile Common Junior School (and hello to Hillside Primary).

We gave away onions, seeds and some hardy herbs. Janet also got a chance to show off some of the things she learned on the gardening course at Taylor Hill.

Did you know that you can grow plants from tea-bags? Janet showed the fascinated children and their parents how to sow seeds on used tea-bags – a good bit of recycling that saves both money and time. Why not give it a go yourself?

We hope to help Hillside Primary to start their gardening club when the school grounds have been finished next year.

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