Toyota GB (PLC) has provided Lee Connelly, The Skinny Jean Gardener, with a Hilux Invincible X for his tour of 20 schools nationwide, in a bid to get 10,000 school children gardening in one week from Monday 9th March. The tour starts in Blackburn, then heads south to schools in Manchester, Birmingham, Swindon, London and Essex.
Children’s gardening expert Lee Connelly – known as The Skinny Jean Gardener – who is known for his work in the CBBC Blue Peter garden, will be sharing gardening tips, encouraging pupils to bring in their home-nurtured plants and starting mini allotments within school grounds, in the national schools tour, sponsored by M&S. Along with seedling kits from the M&S Little Garden campaign, Lee and the Skinny Jean Gardener team provide each of the 20 schools involved with everything they need to start and care for their new school allotment, from seeds, to watering products and tools.
The Toyota Hilux Invincible X will be used to transport seeds, plants and gardening equipment from school to school. Lee plans to use the flatbed section of the pick-up truck as a stage, so he can demonstrate gardening techniques, such as seed planting and potting, to the school children.
Lee said of the tour “We’ve had an incredible response to the 2020 school gardening tour, showing there’s a real demand to get children gardening at school and at home. I believe that real memories can be made through gardening, so not only will the children be learning at school, they’ll also be sharing this experience with their family at home.”
Lee continues: ‘We’ll be covering a lot of miles in a short period of time, travelling around the country with lots of equipment and the Hilux has a huge load capacity to help us carry everything we need, such as soil, seeds, trowels, seedlings and cameras. We’re looking forward to the Hilux carrying us all in comfort and style and I don’t think we could have found a better vehicle for the job.’
About Lee Connelly, The Skinny Jean Gardener
Lee started gardening at the age of 26 when he took on an allotment growing his own veg with his brother. He was asked to start growing at local Jimmy’s Farm by Jimmy Doherty the Suffolk Farmer and BBC and Channel Four TV presenter before creating a kitchen garden that supplied veg to the onsite restaurant. He then went on to work with Jamie Oliver on his Food Revolution and created a garden taxi for Kew Gardens which travelled around getting families to garden while also contributing as a garden expert on Radio 1 and Sunday Brunch.
In 2014, Lee became the CBBC Blue Peter Gardener, inspiring children to get outside and get their hands messy with gardening to attract wildlife. During his time on Blue Peter, he become a father to daughter Olive and he decided to concentrate on family gardening and getting kids and parents out in the garden.
The Skinny Jean Gardener Podcast is in the Top 20 of gardening podcasts in the world with 100,000 listeners every month.
About the Toyota Hilux Invincible X
The Toyota Hilux is Europe’s most popular pick-up truck, since launch in 1968. It is famous for its quality, durability and reliability and has conquered the North Pole, the slopes of live volcanoes and Antarctica, as well as claiming victory in the Dakar rally-raid in 2019.
The Hilux Invincible X is the top-of-the range version of the legendary Hilux pick-up, available in the UK exclusively in Double Cab form. It has a 2.4L diesel engine, automatic transmission, five seats and a leather interior. It is tough, strong and capable off-road and can tow up to 3.5 tons.