‘Schools out for Summer’ event held by Cornfield

Tyler Sharkey, Bradley Gurney and Mckenzie Sharkey pictured at the Schools Out for Summer fun day at the Cornfield in Coleraine. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com.
Tyler Sharkey, Bradley Gurney and Mckenzie Sharkey pictured at the Schools Out for Summer fun day at the Cornfield in Coleraine. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com.

The Cornfield Project celebrated its first summer in full bloom with a celebration event last Friday.

The £135,000 wild flower transformation, based between the Millburn and Ballysally estates in Coleraine, launched last September and has blossomed into something incredible.

Nicola and Troy Smyth pictured at the Schools Out for Summer fun day at the Cornfield in Coleraine. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com.

Nicola and Troy Smyth pictured at the Schools Out for Summer fun day at the Cornfield in Coleraine. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com.

Around 400 people turned out for last week’s ‘School’s Out for Summer’ event at the site – a family fun day coinciding with the start of the summer holidays, where parents and children were able to enjoy a huge range of activities.

Causeway Fun Farm, an open farm based in Bushmills, brought along petting animals for people to play with. At the same time, food from the community garden – including new potatoes, scallions, salad leaves, mangetout and strawberries – was harvested and people were able to cook and eat it during an interactive class.

Activities included bouncy castles, face painting, a range of children’s crafts - from making fairy door, to create flowers and insects using recycled material - while the local community groups provided food. Bringing Ballysally Together put on a barbecue and Millburn Community Association provided ice creams and slushies. The Conservation Volunteers were on site with the Green Machine and children got involved in making bird boxes which will be placed in woodland at The Cornfield this Autumn / Winter

Rosemary Hunter, from the Cornfield Project, said: “We are delighted to have put on such a fun day for local families, allowing them to have a great time and to get involved with the Cornfield Project. It was a fantastic way to mark the start of the project’s first summer in full bloom and the start of the summer holidays.”

Hayley Martin and Samella Gardiner pictured at the Schools Out for Summer fun day at the Cornfield in Coleraine. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com.

Hayley Martin and Samella Gardiner pictured at the Schools Out for Summer fun day at the Cornfield in Coleraine. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com.

fter winning the public vote to become Northern Ireland’s flagship project in late 2015, the Cornfield opened last September, offering a community garden, outdoor classrooms, youth hang-outs, woodland play areas, wild flower sites, bird and bat boxes, nature zones, barefoot walks, project trails, bug hunts and more.

Stéphanie Baine, Northern Ireland Manager for Grow Wild, said: “The Cornfield Project has been an amazing success as Northern Ireland’s flagship for Grow Wild”. We have enjoyed watching it bloom from the seeds of an idea into the incredible wild flower and public landscape it is today. It is a great place to hold events like this and an incredible resource for the community.”

Supported by the Big Lottery Fund and led by Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Grow Wild inspires communities, friends, neighbours and individuals across the UK to come together to transform local spaces, by sowing, growing and enjoying native wild flowers.

Joanne McDowell, NI Director of The Big Lottery Fund, said: “We are pleased to continue our support for Grow Wild, which uses wild flowers to bring people together and as a starting point for making huge differences to local areas across Northern Ireland.”

Find out more about Grow Wild, included funded projects across the UK at: www.growwilduk.com

For more information on the Cornfield project please visit their website http://www.thecornfieldproject.co.uk/