Students and staff at Northgate High School were delighted to be awarded Gold by the Head judge for their show garden at the Royal Norfolk Show. The judges were very impressed by the garden and all the effort everyone had put in to develop and create it. Students guided the judges round the garden, explaining the different features within it. They were incredibly proud to receive the award.

Receiving the gold award from the Royal Norfolk Show judges.


The garden was based on the themes of ‘local living’ and ‘home grown’, provided by the show judges, and featured nine different sections. At the front there was a solar powered windmill, made from an old bin, with recycled plastic sails. It represented Dereham’s famous windmill and certainly caught people’s eye. The garden also featured a mini allotment with vegetables and herbs, grown in an old pallet, as well as a bug and insect ‘hotel’, and repurposed old wheelbarrow, made into a garden feature. Many aspects of the garden had been made by students in some of their lessons and afterschool sessions including clay ladybirds and bees, butterflies and origami flowers.

An insect and big hotel made from logs and grasses – decorated with clay ladybirds and hedgehogs made from old library books.

A pyramid of colour, painted tins were sources from the school canteen.


There were also a couple of jubilee inspired aspects including a jubilee tree of trees which also featured recycled plastic bird boxes, and a crown of conservation rising high in the middle of the garden, with beautifully decorated old water bottles and cascading plants. An important message that students were able to get across in the garden, was how items can be reused, recycled or repurposed. Bean tins from the canteen were painted to make colourful plant pots, old library books were made into mini hedgehogs, and books and bottles were made into flowers. These were just a few of the ideas on display.

Our take on the Jubilee tree of trees. Recycled plastic bird boxes were later hanging from the tree.

The crown of conservation made from old plastic bottles.


You can have a quick tour of the garden by clicking the link below.

Northgate show garden – Royal Norfolk Show


There were many visitors to the garden over the two days, including Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk, The Lady Dannatt and Lord Dannatt. Students proudly gave guided tours of the garden to members of the public and were keen to explain how everyone had contributed. There were plenty of lovely comments from the show goers, which included, ‘Excellent display with some powerful messages, confidently explained by the lovely pupils, well done!’ and ‘Some great ideas for wildlife and diversity, many of which can be replicated in home gardens, well done!’

Meeting the Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk, The Lady Dannatt


Take a look at the great feedback we received in our comments book below:


Mr MacDonald and Miss Theobald, who planned and coordinated the project said, ‘it was such an amazing team effort. Several classes were able to get involved in making items for the garden, with fantastic creative support from the Art and Design Department. It was lovely to see our Environment Team members and Green Influencers proudly and confidently engage with the public when talking about the garden over the two days.’ A big thank you to everyone who helped with the project – students, the whole Art and Design department and to Johnny Fox (Johnny Plantman) and Tim Green (Acorn Hut Farm Shop and Plant Centre) for donating some of the plants.

Miss Theobald and Mr MacDonald with one of the show stewards.

Heads of School, Dr Hone and Mrs Galley commented, ‘We are incredibly proud of our students and staff. The garden represents everything we believe in at Northgate High School and Dereham Sixth Form College: community, hard work, innovation, and teamwork – and all with minimum impact on the planet we all share. The garden was a true labour of love, and it was a great experience for our pupils under the watchful eye of dedicated staff.’

Take a look at more photos below:

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