Just before winter last year, I began jotting down ideas for quite a large piece of unused land in our allotment area. Roll on to the start of summertime and our ‘Nature Garden’ is now in full swing.
One of the inspirations behind this was the charity RSPB, who had set a "Wild Challenge" and on completing several of their challenges we would receive awards for all our hard work and development of this garden.
Step one was to put our Biodiversity action plan in order, which was actually the development of the garden area itself. The students helped build a shallow pond area, make habitat heaps for all sorts of wildlife to thrive and homes for visiting birds and mammals. We posted evidence of our work to the RSPB, who could see our Nature Garden was indeed working and wildlife of all sorts was blooming and setting up home.
We made our own checklists and have been keeping an eye on our resident birds, which in turn is helping the RSPB with their own research, something that is valuable to them and has been a lot of fun for the students.
We proudly received our "Bronze" award from the RSPB just before the Spring Half Term and before we knew it we had done enough work and research of our own to be awarded "Silver".
For our Silver award we went on Plants Safari’s round school, planted for wildlife, did some wildlife art, successfully made homes for some visiting newts and even became human weather gauges by going outside in all weather conditions to explain how we feel.
With the success the Nature Garden has been so far, we have even set up our own ‘headquarters’ on site where all visiting classes have plenty of projects they can work on meaning we can ‘Go for Gold’ just before the Summer Holidays and in return receive more notoriety for all of our hard work, as well as amazing resources from the RSPB.
We have so many more ideas to grow this area and beyond and, thanks to the help of our fantastic students, this has happened quicker than expected. They'll certainly keep up the hard work because I know they will.
Thanks for all your hard work and support