Judging has taken place this week for Richmond in Bloom’s School Gardening Trophy, with nine schools in the area vying for the award.

Outdoor classes are a feature of many of the borough schools which take advantage of their grounds to provide a setting which encourages appreciation of the natural environment.

Now often included in the curriculum, pupils enjoy lessons in gardening for flowers and vegetables, how to encourage wildlife, pond management and conservation projects.

Nine schools are taking part this year and sponsor Mr Colin Squire visited Chase Bridge Primary School this week, where he was shown around by Chloe, Maisy and Holly.

The trophy, sponsored by Squire’s Garden Centres, will be awarded following an announcement at a special ceremony on July 9.

Richmond in Bloom have also issued a reminder that the closing date for entries to their Merit Award is rapidly approaching next Friday, June 28.

There are ten categories covering all aspects of bloom display, including front gardens and house frontages, estates and communal areas, pubs, shops and environmental projects.

Pat Schooling, bloom committee chair, said: “The weather extremes we have all battled with this year have made successful gardening a challenge, but nevertheless there are many wonderful floral displays to be seen around the borough.”

Judging will take place immediately after the Hampton Court Flower Show, in the week commencing Monday, July 8.

Entries may achieve Merit Award certificates of Gold, Silver Gilt, Silver or Bronze standard and the best in each category will also receive a Borough in Bloom commemorative plaque.

Entry forms are available in all public libraries and can be downloaded from www.richmondboroughinbloom.co.uk.

Further information from Pat Schooling on 020 8744 1171