Somervale School has a history of environmental projects. In the past they have developed vegetable patches, wooded areas, planted apple trees and developed sustainable water sources using rainwater. Our aim is to rejuvenate these areas, increase the biodiversity within the community and educate our students on sustainable development for our environment.
The Vegetable Garden
At present we have a small garden which has previously been used grow wild strawberries, pumpkins, beans and peas as well as various flowers including sunflowers. The lot has been left to over grow and required extensive work before any growing can be grown. The first plain is to weed the entire plot which consists of 8 raised wooden beds. This soil will be turned over before we start to plant the new crops in late February/early March. The second plan is to choose approximately 5 different fruit and vegetable that we can successfully grow without a greenhouse, this will likely include tomatoes, beans, pumpkins, carrots and strawberries. We are hoping that we can keep this entire plot to vegetables before developing a small flower display by recycling old tyres.
The Old Tyre Flower Display
Recycling is going to be a common theme running through our project. We are going to recycling old tyres from local garages to develop a flower display near to our vegetable patch and lunch benches that can be enjoyed by the whole school. In doing so, the students will be able to understand the importance of recycling to our environment, the ability to upcycle strange products and hopefully reverse the tide of habitat degradation to British bee species. The use of specific plants including lavender, snowdrops, crocus, chives and hopefully we will find space to grow sunflowers as well.
This part of the project will be entirely student led, they will research the correct flowers needed to entice bees, do all of the planting and maintain the garden.
The pond has been a key feature in Somervale schools environment for some time, however the pond has been allowed to overgrow and has been neglected. We hope to bring the pond back to fruition and maintain the biodiversity therefore being able to use it as a tool for future teachings across the curriculum including science and geography.
The Poly Tunnel
The Poly tunnel is in desperate need of help. In the past, students have used it to cultivate their crops from seeds in order to provide safe haven for the seedlings. However, at present the facility is damaged and overgrown. This will be an ongoing project that is likely to take some time to rectify. We will be raising money in order to by new plastic covering but prior to that we are going to see our dedicated students start the long process of clearing the weeds and rubbish and make the area ready for use again.
Our woodland area is a haven for a variety of flora and fauna and we hope to encourage and support this environment throughout the year. In order to do this, one project will be to develop recycled bird feeders using everyday items that the students use. These will include drinks bottles, food cans, string/shoelaces etc. The students will also prepare their own bird seed and maintain this throughout the year.
The aim is that these projects will contribute to a school wide appreciation for our environment and what it can offer us when we work with it rather than against it. We hope that this initiative is going to help our students take a responsibility for the environment within their community, without which change will not happen. By capturing their interest now, we aim to ignite a lifelong passion for the environment and the sustainable ways that we can use it and enhance it.