Great Bradfords School renovated garden opened by Jamie Oliver

Chef and author Jamie Oliver, opened the newly renovated garden at Great Bradfords Junior School in Braintree, Essex.

Jamie Oliver opening the newly renovated garden at Great Bradfords Junior School in Braintree, Essex

The garden features planting spaces for flowers, herbs, fruits, and vegetables, alongside brand-new reading nooks and bookshelves, providing children with an outdoor space to learn about gardening and nature.

The renovation, sponsored by Puffin Books was carried out by local landscaper Lex Building Services, with plants generously donated by Braintree Garden Centre – part of the British Garden Centres chain. Great Bradfords Junior School is part of Puffin’s World of Stories programme, an initiative of the Libraries for Primaries campaign which is run in partnership with the National Literacy Trust.

Oliver was in attendance to mark the publication of his second children’s book, ‘Billy and the epic escape‘. His new book, a sequel to ‘Billy and the giant adventure’ is about an adventure, celebrating the joy of sharing food. The new book expands on that theme, exploring friendship, looking after the world, growing food and food provenance. Both books were illustrated by freelance illustrator, Monica Armino.

Mr Wrench, Headteacher of Great Bradfords Junior School said: “We are delighted with our new gardening area. The area has been transformed and is an excellent space for children to enjoy planting and growing along with reading outdoors for pleasure. We can’t thank Jamie, his publishers Puffin, British Garden Centres and Lex Building Services enough for this opportunity and the children will love using this space!”

Francesca Dow, MD at Puffin Books, commented: “When Jamie first spoke about his idea for Billy and the Giant Adventure, he inspired me with his story and his passion that as a parent or carer, above most things you want for your child to love good healthy food and love reading. The two are beautifully intertwined in Jamie’s Billy stories. Puffin has always been about sparking children’s imaginations, and we’re proud to publish many different authors and books to inspire varied tastes. So, it feels very fitting to celebrate ‘Billy and the epic escape’, Jamie’s second children’s book with us, by sponsoring a garden with gorgeous reading spaces uniting these two important factors in childhood development.”

Lisa Capper of Braintree Garden Centre said: “Jamie Oliver’s dedication to nurturing children’s imagination and connection with nature is truly commendable, and the team at Braintree Garden Centre are thrilled to have contributed to the renovation of the garden at Great Bradfords Junior School. We hope the pupils enjoy the garden and explore the vibrant array of plants that will provide enjoyment for years to come.”