The area to be improved was chosen by the Eco-Committee children during a regular meeting.
They chose a quiet area of the playground which had become slightly dilapidated and contained wooden benches and raised beds, but not many plants. The benches, which had fallen into disrepair, had any broken wood replaced by the school caretaker.
We asked the Tees Valley Wildlife Trust to run a series of after school clubs with the children to plan and implement the wildlife area. They began work in October 2015, looking closely at the area and creating plans, with the Eco-Committee, to improve it. The Eco-Committee decided they wanted bird boxes and a bird feeding area, insect boxes (for lacewings and butterflies) and a butter fly feeding area, plants that looked and smelled nice but were also good for wildlife and to grow food. The Tees Valley Wildlife Trust came in once per week after school to work with a group of 20 children to make bird boxes, insect houses and install the feeding area and hedgehog box.
The weekly sessions have continued since then and have included planting herbs, planting food plants, buying interpretation materials such as field guides and having a nature walk around the school field, bulb planting and growing food from seed to put in some large raised beds near the wildlife area. The children have also tidied out and planted up an internal courtyard during this time and we plan to further extend the planting around school by utilising some under-used raised beds. Eco-Committee children are responsible for topping up the bird feeders and bird baths and undertaking the regular watering of the plants.