Outdoor Provision Project
We are looking forward to developing our extensive school grounds further to provide more learning opportunities for our children with the help and support of many local community based groups and agencies such as Cumbria Woodlands, The Cumbria Wild Life Trust, St Bees Green Future Group and volunteers within the community as well as children, families and of course the staff. We aim to develop our green space to provide a nature corridor and wilding area that will encourage local wildlife (both plants and animals) to continue to flourish, extend our vegetable plot and mini orchard area so that we can grow and benefit from a range of home grown produce as well as reusing and recyling materials within our school where possible. Our project will enable many learning opportunities across the broader and wider curriculum as we become more involved in creating an environment that benefits all and fosters our physical and mental well being.
OUR OUTDOOR WILDING AREA PLAN
We have met with John Lee from Esacpe Education to develop a long term plan/ vision for outdoor learning. John shared his knowledge, expertise and creative ideas with us which has enabled us to bring forth ideas of where to begin and how to move forward. Here are some of the ideas we are planning.It will take time, investment and a lot of hard work and determination but we know that we can make this happen!
PHASE 1 : THE DAY THE KP ARBORISTS CAME.........................
During the February half term holidays the huge Ash Tree was taken down due to the tree having Ash Die Back. The Arborists safely cut down the tree and have provided enough wood chip and logs to develop our wilding area. Volunteers came armed with spades and wheelbarrows for the "Woodchip Wednesday Event." Many hands made light work of this mammoth task and we have now created a natural bedded area where the traversing climbing wall and cargo net will be installed hopefully very soon! The larger pieces of the trunk of the tree will be used as seating as well as to construct with and zone different areas.
We collected some dry stall walling that someone was giving away free and thought that these would come in handy to begin zoning the area for the memorial, sensory and worry gardens around the outdoor classroom. Our youngest children in Pre School used their "helping hands" in our "Rock Rolling" challenge, working together to move the stones successfully. They also make a great pathway for balancing on due to their weight, flat stone faces and edges!
We have also had some tractor tyres donated and delivered from Gates Tyres at Lillyhall. These huge tyres are very hard to recycle due to the astronomical costs involved so we have already put them to great use, saved lots of money as well as re use materials in an environmentally friendly and useful way!
Week beginning 13th and 20th March 2023- Update: Year 2, Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6 have helped the Pre School children to plant 120 tree and hedgerow saplings (Hawthorn, Dogrose, Silver Birch, Wild Cherry, Crab Apple). This will extend the wooded area nearest to the Parish Council play ground and begin the hedgerow to the wilding area. We have also started the mini orchard off by planting 2 apple and blush pear trees, dug over the vegetable plot and prepared soil containers for planting by de weeding. We have also worked together to move logs into the wilding area - deciding what they could be used for and where different branches and trunk parts would be best placed. Some will be used for extending part of an obstacle course, den building and bug hotels and larger pieces used as seats. We are extremely proud of what we have achieved so far - especially each and every child smiling, being happy and showing a great deal of enthusiasm with regards to thinking about our conservation and protection of living things and the environment. We even spotted tadpoles in the mini pond! We have never witnessed so much excitement!
We finally did it! We have planted 1000 further saplings in our school grounds creating extensive hedgerows and nature corridors!
A massive thank you to all of the children, staff and volunteers that made this all possible! We couldn't have achieved this without their hard work and determination! Also thanks to JJ Groundworks for installing the fencing at very short notice! JJ Groundworks are also currently still working to install a pathway and extending the vegetable plot for us! Now onto planning Phase 3!