Wildflower seeds for primary schools to mark coronation

Wildflower seeds are to be sent to primary schools so that children can mark the coronation by sharing the King’s love of nature.

It is hoped children will want to learn about and improve the biodiversity of schools’ green spaces and also make them nicer places to work and learn, under the scheme run by the Department for Education (DfE) and the Eden Project.

More than 200,000 seed packets will be sent to state-funded primary schools, representing 40 hectares of new wildflower areas that are being planted across England to support pollinators.

If planted together the project would create about 40 rugby pitch-sized wildflower meadows, the DfE said.

Highgrove gardens
The King in his garden at Highgrove (Marianne Majerus/Highgrove Enterprises/PA)

Dan James, the Eden Project’s development director, described it as “a fantastic opportunity for the next generation to see the impact that wildflowers can have, even in small spaces”.

He said: “By encouraging our children to plant wildflower seeds we can work towards reversing the decline of pollinators that we are seeing across the UK, which is so important for our future.”

He added:  “It is crucial that we replenish our biodiversity across the UK and even small steps can make a difference.

Cornflower, corn poppy, corn chamomile, corncockle, corn marigold and night-flowering catchfly will be included in the packets of seeds, which could be in bloom this summer if they are sown in the spring.

The wildflowers will provide food for a wide range of insects including bees, butterflies and other pollinators in school grounds across England.

Each seed packet covers about two square metres of blue, white, purple, red and yellow flowers that can be planted in pots, beds or borders.

Planting wildflowers will not only make school grounds more attractive but “it will also help the next generation understand the importance of improving our biodiversity, while celebrating His Majesty the King’s love of nature”, according to schools minister Nick Gibb.

The DfE has commissioned a series of lesson plans and other teaching materials for primary and secondary schools to explain the significance of the coronation.

The charity Living Paintings has created a pack of tactile and audio resources to enable blind and partially-sighted children to learn about the coronation.

The Eden Project has also created free lesson resources for schools and families to learn how to make eco-decorations for their coronation celebrations using natural objects found in their surrounding green spaces.

The National Education Nature Park also brings together schools, colleges and other education settings into a vast virtual park.

It enables children and young people to get involved in  practical steps to improve the biodiversity of their green spaces, then map it online to see over time how the virtual park changes.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has also commissioned a film for primary school-aged children, that can be played in classrooms or assemblies  to explain the history and significance of the coronation.