When presented with a blank canvas, it can be a little daunting... a fantastic space to develop and a massive potential to create a space that could really make a difference to a lot of children.
I wanted to create something a little different; something that would stand out from the crowd and offer the staff and pupils a unique, versatile, yet workable space for learning throughout the year.
The area had already been fenced and a pond area, with decking had been put in place, so I based my plans around this. Feeling that the pond was not big enough, I chose to add to this exisiting pond, digging an additional one, with a bog area as well.
My plans included dividing the area into four 'zones'; (Green shows our progress so far)
- Planting for birds to provide seed heads and berries - Many planted, more planned
- A feeding station with hide accessible at break and dinner times - Feeding station completed
- A giant bird box for children to enter and build their own nests. This
will also double as a bird hide. Giant Bird Hide completed
- Information boards to help with bird ID Temporary, laminated info. Funds needed for permanent
- A 'Mammal Dome' burrow and tunnel system for children to enter -Willow dome completed
- Hedgehog boxes and feeding station - Hedgehog box and log pile installed
- Mammal feeding station viewable from dome - Food & trail cam set on log pile
- Habitat creation good for small ammals to hide and live in - Log piles, rock piles and compost
Insects / Invertebrates:
- Meadow planting for an attractive, insect rich habitat - Wild flower mix planted in grass area
- Nectar rich planting area to attract butterflies & bees in particular - Buddleias planted & nectar rich
plants - more planned
- Large invertebrate habitat wall where all children contribute to make a
'bug/bee home' with them all mounted to create eye-catching functional
art structure -
- Giant frames on which children can build a spider webs - Frames completed
- Frames for spiders to build webs within the grass/meadow/insect areas
- Information boards to help with insect ID - Temporary boards, funding needed for permanent
- Two pond areas, with varying depths and natural planting - Completed
- Bog area - Completed
- Pond-dipping platform - Completed
Paths run throughout the site and to the specific zones, where there are seating areas for children to work safely. There are paths all the way from the school buildings to encourage all-year round use.
The area is growing and develop with a lot more being added over the next few years. It will be an evolving project!
Click to enlarge plans
A big thank you to Simon Venn, who created these drawings from my plans and who organised the early work on the area before I was able to begin my role at the school.
Simon's work in schools can be seen on his website at: