A fly tipped W.C. turned into a herb planter at Reepham Allotment Project


A nationally acclaimed school allotment initiative is being rolled out across the County.

Nine secondary schools have now signed up to the Papillon Project which has already been running for five years at Reepham High School near Norwich- largely created from things that people throw away – from fly-tipped toilets to canoes!

That pilot has shown that students establishing their own allotment and growing their own food has improved their sense of physical and mental well being.

The founder of the Papillon Project, teacher Matt Willer won the Royal Horticultural Society’s School Gardening Champion of the Year 2018 and an Eco Hero award – gaining national media coverage. Now he’s left his day job to set up this new charity so more schools can do the same.

Matt Willer

Matt Willer

Matt says: “I want to inspire children and young people to learn to grow their own food for their school and their community”

“We will work with schools and sixth-form colleges to create and develop an allotment growing area which the students will design, create and develop themselves. The Papillon Project is also about creating a shared responsibility and forging a community of volunteers from amongst staff, parents and the wider community.”

This new initiative has the backing of BBC Radio 4 Gardener’s Question Time guru, Bob Flowerdew:

“Our children can only benefit from familiarity with nature and the ways it sustains us and our food. In a world of much division, gardening is a common good, something we can all agree that our children should experience, can learn from, and most of all will surely enjoy.”

The Papillon Project is being launched on Friday 22 November at:

 Sprowston Community Academy, Cannerby Lane, Norwich, NR7 8NE (6pm-8pm).

Contributors include Frances Tophill (‘Gardeners’ World’ presenter) and Richard Powell OBE (Chair of ‘Wild Anglia’).

If anyone is interested in attending a limited number of tickets are available at: https://papillonlaunch.eventbrite.co.uk

Find out more at www.thepapillonproject.com

The ‘Rope Pump’ at Reepham Allotment Project