The children and staff have been hard at work on our Year 6 Project to improve the wildlife area at the top of our school’s field.The pond is now a haven for wildlife, in and around the pond, and our meadow is taking shape with all the new additions. We have planted some willow to, hopefully, form a shady spot to sit under once it grows. We have also up-cycled some old pallets and are in the process of making three bird hides so we can bird watch; we have so many different breeds of birds in and around our school grounds which we found to be the case when we took part in the RSPB School’s Big Bird Watch at the end of January this year. During the snowfall just before half-term, some Year 6 pupils made some bird feeders from oranges to help the local birds find food – we used suet and wild bird seed and they loved it.
Now we have returned from half-term, it’s all go again. We still need to keep planting around the pond area to make a more habitable, natural environment to encourage more insects and wildlife to visit. Plus, we have loads of different ideas to expand the biodiversity of our school grounds. Although we do currently have log piles, bug hotels and bird boxes, you can never have too much to support the local wildlife.
The left over pallets from the bird hides are going to be turned into compost bins and, possibly, a mud kitchen and solar hand wash station up by the Forest School for the key stage 1 children.
Here are some more evidence of our progress on the pond and meadow, plus our bird feeders when it snowed in February.
Let it Grow!
Last year we decided to let an area at the top of our field grow ‘wild’. It was so successful we have decided to keep it. We are now in the process of laying some bark paths through the meadow and planting a willow ‘quiet’ chilling area. We have also started to build some bird watching pallet hides in amongst the wild flowers and tall grass. This area, last year, was not only a lovely calming space for us, but we saw so many different butterflies, bees and bugs; it was truly amazing.
Last year’s wild meadow area:
Cutting in the bark pathways and start of willow structure
Building the Pallet Hides for Bird Watching
From an overgrown, sludgy pond to a place teaming with life!
Building Habitats – Log Pile
We built a log pile in our school’s pond area. We decided to construct it in a far corner so the creatures that wanted to live there would not be disturbed as much. We were hoping that maybe a passing newt, frog or toad my find it welcoming as it was near to water. Obviously, we were confident that many different insects would definitely find it appealing.
We dug a little dip in the ground and placed logs and stones, randomly so that it looked nice and natural. We have plants that are growing around it so that would give extra shelter to hide in.
Hopefully we will have some creatures occupying our lovely log pile soon.
Making Bird Feeders
On Thursday, 10th February a group of six children from Pygmy Class made some bird feeders using oranges. First we cut the oranges in half, scoped out the and ate the orange segments, then filled them orange shells full of suet and wild bird seeds.
It was a sticky job mixing together all the suet and seeds, but fun. It was so snowy that day (even a mini snow blizzard while me made them) that we thought the birds would be grateful for the calorific snack.
Here are some pictures of our hanging bird feeders: