Schoolchildren from across Durham City have been tending city centre gardens of delicious edible plants.

Some of their produce has been used in local restaurants and the kids’ efforts might just win Durham a prestigious gardening award.

The children, from six Durham schools, have been growing a variety of herbs, fruits, vegetables and edible flowers as part of Durham City’s entry in the Champion of Champions section of this year’s In Bloom competition.

The six displays are adding colour to Elvet and New Elvet Bridges and will brighten up the streets of the city centre throughout the summer as Durham competes in the Royal-Horticultural-Society-run contest.

The displays are not only beautiful, but also full of tasty plants, some of which have been used in recipes by the city’s cafés and restaurants.

The children taking part are from Sherburn Primary School, Neville’s Cross Primary School, Durham Johnston Comprehensive School, St Leonard’s Catholic School, Durham Trinity School and Belmont Church of England Primary School.

The results of the In Bloom contest will be announced in October.

Durham County Council’s cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, Cllr Brian Stephens, said, “This is an exciting first as we haven’t produced an edible planting feature as part of the city’s summer floral displays before.”

“These pupils have proven that an edible landscape can be beautiful as well as tasty and I hope that residents and visitors enjoy admiring the displays and eating the fresh, healthy produce in our local restaurants.”

The manager of OASES (Outdoor and Sustainability Education Specialists), Clare Garnham, said, “Schools in Bloom has allowed us to engage hundreds more children and young people with the RHS Durham In Bloom campaign and get them interested in growing edible plants.”

Any schools that would like to take part in a similar project next year should email [email protected].

(This article’s featured image shows children from St Leonard’s Catholic School with their edible display.)

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