On 6th June local schools and youth groups and those further afield came to WWF-UK’s first Great Green Ambassadors Garden Party held here in the beautiful grounds of Monksfield House.

The children took part in a three workshops including a fascinating tour of the grounds in which Mark Reynolds pointed out the sustainable features of his garden and how he encourages wildlife to the garden. This helped the children to see how all the elements linked together to create a garden which is a sustainability and biodiversity hub! The children filled out a fun quiz while on the tour to enhance their learning.

The next was a growing workshop in which the children planted plants and designed and made items to encourage wildlife to their gardens. This workshop was led by Donna Neale (Youth Officer, WWF) and Louise Bryant, Wicor School.   Our homes, schools and meeting places can offer vital spaces for wildlife to flourish and for us to enjoy the natural world on our doorstep. This workshop’s purpose was to inspire children to encourage biodiversity and give them some basic knowledge and skills, and the confidence, to have a go at making their own wildlife friendly designs. The children made some amazing planters with different plants to encourage particular wildlife, a water station and decorated stones. They even had time to make recycled bird feeders!

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Lastly there was a two-part Creative workshop.  For this workshop, the centre piece was a life-size panda sculpture produced for us by Wild in Art. The children worked with artist Damien Jeffrey and Georgie Bridge (WWF-UK) to decorate the panda in a way that was meaningful to them. The children’s drawings depicted the reasons they felt we should care and value nature.  Using tessalated shapes the children painted the panda with images depicting different habitats; rivers, oceans, forests, and the species you’d find there in a visual celebration of our planet’s biodiversity.

They were then able to make a pledge mobile with Lizzie Goldsbrough (WWF-UK) which described what they love and promise to try and protect for future generations. As part of the tour, Mark showed the children a tree stump in the grounds and they learnt to count the rings in the trunk to see how old it is. The children then used this idea to draw concentric rings onto pieces of wood to represent their age and the years they have spent in nature and as part of nature. They then wrote their promise for the future and how they would like to protect nature.

A great day was had by all. We learnt new things, gained new skills and had a lot of fun.