A BUNGALOW left unused for more than 20 years has been restored into a blooming garden project.

Staff and pupils at Millom School have worked tirelessly to transform the bungalow on site into a classroom for outdoor education.

After a bountiful summer harvest, the school has no plans to stop growing.

George Burch, a STEM mentor for the school, said: "I'm very pleased we've been able to set this all up.

"It's been hard work and it's been frustrating at times because you've got to work within the weather cycles too, but the fact is this is now an excellent education project.

"For the first time out we've had an excellent year, bigger and better than we thought it would be. We'll be starting to plant soon for next year and it'll be spot on."

In its first year, the school's garden has produced masses of herbs, fruit and vegetables.

With more beds set up and trees planted, as well as plans to install a greenhouse later this month, the group are hopeful for an even bigger harvest next year.

Part of the produce has been transported across the car park to the Millom Network Centre cafe, while students are also being encouraged to set up a young enterprise scheme to sell what they grow.

Mr Burch, who worked as a science technician at the school for 20 years before retiring in 2009, said: "The kids don't want to go back. They're out doing something practical and they see a sense in it.

"It's something they enjoy and they do like it.

"Some of the kids want to start a gardening club to come out at lunchtimes and on evenings.

"It's nice to see them all getting involved."

Plans for the project have been in the pipeline for a number of years, with the school fighting for funding to renovate and restore the bungalow and gardens.

Mr Burch said: "This building was sitting here doing nothing for over 20 years.

"Once the first bit of rubbish was dumped in the bungalow and outside it just started to gather. It became an eyesore."

Along with maths teacher Tony Dixon, the pair have gathered support and help from the Millom community.

The project has also seen a number of creative recycling ideas.

Mr Burch said: "It's great to see the whole community getting involved and helping out to transform it.

"In our polythene tunnel we've recycled old filing cabinets which were left in the bungalow to use as plant beds, and all the waste from food tech goes into our compost piles."

The school are now on the lookout for more funding to expand their environmental education project.

They hope to start working on the Millenium Wood and school pond next year.

Mr Burch said: "It's going to have everything we need to teach environmental education, community links and get the community involved in a way you can't do in a class room.

"We've got no money for it now because it's all gone into the garden so far, but once that arrives, wherever it comes from, then we'll get started.

"When the wood and pond are sorted it really is going to be second-to-none."