Aldingbourne's Woolly Wonder at annual Jim Green Challenge

On Wednesday, March 13, a group from Aldingbourne Country Centre participated in The Jim Green Challenge at Ardingly South Of England Showground.
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Held annually in honour of the society's founder of educational outreach programs, Jim Green, the event was judged by a team of regional experts. Whilst they didn't bring home the trophy for the overall winner, the Creative Arts Studio did win first place for their model of a sheep!

The challenge showcased a diverse selection of competitions, including tasks that had to be completed in advance. These ranged from crafting a model sheep from recycled materials to arranging dried flowers in a vase, constructing a wooden toy with hand-held tools, and baking sheep-themed vanilla cupcakes.

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The first practical assessment of the day was preparing a flowerbed with compost and tidying the edges for spring planting, which Stephen and Dean expertly did. Next, Eloise and Hannah cultivated Spring bulbs in a planter. Stephen identified pond life before the team finished the day's events by constructing a self-supporting scarecrow.

The winning model sheep crafted from recycled materials.The winning model sheep crafted from recycled materials.
The winning model sheep crafted from recycled materials.

Clare Hennin said: "The Jim Green Challenge is always a fantastic event to be involved in; it’s a great chance for the people we support to showcase their talents and teamwork skills. They take great pleasure in representing The Trust and a lot of work goes into getting their entries prepared."

A visit from Her Royal Highness, Duchess of Edinburgh, made the day extra special. HRH's attendance comes after she was appointed president of The South of England Agricultural Society for 2024.

Everyone had the chance to meet HRH, with Clare and Dean getting to formally greet her whilst showing off Creative Arts' winning sheep. After the awards ceremony, Eloise presented The Duchess with a posy.

Congratulations to everyone who took part in this year's Jim Green Challenge. All of the entries were met with compliments and great feedback from the judges. They can't wait to return next year!