Ireland’s wildest visitor attraction has landed a blooming fantastic new addition to its suite of educational resources.
An award-winning garden from the Bloom event in Dublin’s Phoenix Park last month has been relocated lock, stock and barrel to Fota Wildlife Park in Cork where it is being rebuilt as a permanent feature.
Located close to its educational unit, it will be available to schools as an educational resource from September, and will be used to help teach children about agriculture and biodiversity.
“The new resource will serve to educate our younger visitors on how our woodlands, native trees, grasses and associated wildlife can co-exist with agricultural practices,” said a park spokesperson.
Agri Aware, the independent educational body which was set up to improve the image and understanding of agriculture, farming and the food industry, worked with designer Tünde Szentesi, to create the ‘My Land, Your Land — Ireland garden’ for Bloom.
It showcased how, with the help of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), Irish farming has embraced sustainable practices, producing safe, traceable and affordable food.
It tells the story of Irish agriculture and food through a farm-to-fork food circle incorporated into the garden.
It demonstrates Irish farming practices such as grass-fed dairy and beef systems, and has a woodland section, a fruit and vegetable garden, and a variety of crops and trees.
A traditional hedgerow and wild flowers form part of the garden, as well as a composting area and water conservation unit, showing the measures taken by farmers to protect the environment and countryside.
The garden is housed under a traditional red hay shed.
During Bloom, Agri Aware, in conjunction with Bord Bia, welcomed some 800 primary school children for special tours of the event, many of whom attended workshops in the garden under the shed.
President Michael D Higgins, and his wife, Sabina, were also among the visitors to the garden.
Ms Szentesi is originally from Hungary, where she worked as a HR consultant and enjoyed gardening as a hobby.
She moved to Ireland over a decade ago and decided to make her hobby her career, studying garden and landscape design at the Senior College Dun Laoghaire, before continuing her studies at the University of Gloucestershire in England, where she earned a degree as a landscape architect.
She founded her garden and landscape design business, TündeLandscapeS, in 2013.
She has won before at Bloom, securing a Silver-Gilt Medal in 2016 with her ‘Out The Other Side: A Garden of Hope’ for Marie Keating Foundation.
She also has two Bloom Silver Medals from 2015 and 2013 and she won ‘Best in Category’ award for her small garden in 2013.
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