Students have the opportunity to grow fruit and vegetables in the kitchen garden area. Catering students use the produce in their recipes; students can pick apples from the orchard to eat, cook or juice; produce is grown by students and sold to staff and families.
The garden area is a popular relaxed area to sit in during breaks and lunches, to mingle with the animals and to socialise with students and staff in the sunshine. Local businesses such as Lloyds, the Rotary club, Mansol LTD, Serand LTD, Cadex, Specialized Print LTD and Cambridge Care Company have sponsored the benches. Students have planted a butterfly and herb garden by working with families and East Anglian Children’s hospice.
The restored apple orchard is a popular outdoor learning area for students across the Castle Partnership of schools and Sandcastles playgroup. The orchard is home to two Soay sheep who maintain the orchard. Workshops are run from the summer house for students and families. Forest school sessions are being offered to Place Farm students using the space.
Castle Manor works closely with the RHS and Kew gardens ’Grow Wild’ scheme. Castle Manor is a flagship school for school gardening and it has achieved the highest award for involving the community in gardening projects as well as awards from the Woodland Trust .
Castle Manor Academy offers training to other schools interested in developing their outside spaces as well as successfully securing funding for specific projects such as planting hedgerow and wild flowers.