BARNSLEY College students are getting sustainability-savvy and transforming every scrap into valuable resources for their green projects.

The horticulture students at our Wigfield Farm campus are gaining a unique perspective and understanding that it is not just about plants, but an industry where no resource should ever be wasted and can be used to help the environment.

Under the guidance of horticulture tutor Carlo Turner, students have renovated dog sinks, that were discarded during a refurbishment, giving them a new lease of life as planters. The sinkholes now create a great drainage system for the plants which are re-planted by students throughout the changing seasons.

It’s not just dog sinks that the students have transformed, they actively collect plastic containers to reuse and upcycle into planters. Their eco-friendly initiative not only helps minimise the waste sent to landfills but reduces carbon dioxide emissions by expanding the material’s life.

In his dedication to sustainably, Carlo showed the students how to make their own compost and now they make use of everything in their gardens, from lawn clippings and weeds to prunings and torn-up cardboard. The students also have the benefit of using the farm café’s plant-based kitchen waste and animal manure, to form healthier soil and improve the student’s plant growth.

Carlo said: “Horticulture plays a crucial role in environmental conservation and these students are entering the industry, so it is important for us to embed it into the curriculum.

“Last year, we turned used pumpkins into seasonal flower displays. I still have the pumpkin seeds from these which students will be planting this year to grow new crops – this continuous cycle will continue.”

Peter Wood, Head of Department for Land-based Industries, added: “Carlo’s idea provides our horticulture students with the opportunity to think outside of the box and bring sustainability into their course.

“Students are always on the lookout for scraps of wood from broken fences or old boxes that they can transform into functional and creative pieces, like planters and bird boxes, which are often sold at the student shows.”