A COLCHESTER secondary school has opened its all-new eco-garden, aimed at inspiring a future generation of gardeners.

The outdoor learning environment at St Helena School, which has been two years in the making, has finally come to fruition.

The eco-garden will act as an outdoor classroom providing staff and students the chance to connect with nature.

It will also serve as a peaceful area to promote mental wellbeing for workers, pupils, and the school’s gardening club.

The garden was opened by Colchester’s High Steward and former mayor, Sir Bob Russell, who was a previous governor of the school.

The scheme was initially supported by fundraising events organised by students, which raised £1,200, before local companies, including Just Bee, Wickes, Perrywood Garden Centre and Stanway Garden Centre, also gave their support.

Charlie McCarthy, head of school, said: “We were delighted to welcome back Sir Bob who, along with his wife and children, are all St Helena alumni.

“This was incredibly inspiring as we want our students to aspire, believe and achieve and Sir Bob is great example of how far in life you can go with this ethos in mind.”

As part of the official opening, each student was given a pack of seeds to plant in the wild garden for future generations of St Helena students to enjoy.