Our Newcastle gardening team have just finished a project at Highfield School in Prudhoe where they developed an outdoor learning area and wildlife habitat working to Wilderness Schooling’s plans over the last 6 months.
The first stage was to prepare 5 willow arbours on a hillside so the pupils could sit on benches under them and let the views inspire their poetry skills.
Next they dug a huge area of 200x50ft to create a wildflower strip and a willow ‘outdoor learning space’ on top of the hill. This work was carried out by our team of staff and volunteers: Nicola, Charlie, Chris, Rick, Robert, Stephen, Shannon and Kerryanne.
In the last few months, Nicola and Charlie have been working on the final stage of the project. The team had dug out a pond just before Christmas and they have now added a new liner and a variety of water plants. They also cleared undergrowth and added woodchips as groundcover. The finishing touch was adding mosaic style tiling around the pond to keep the wildlife area neat and easily maintainable for the school.
Our gardeners and volunteers worked with students, staff and parents at the school to design and carry out this work as well as offering advice on how to maintain their grounds in the future.
On completion, we were delighted to receive this feedback from Highfield’s Head Teacher:
“Thank you so much for all your help and all the work done on the outdoor learning environment. I am personally very grateful and delighted with what you have managed to accomplish. It was great to see all the effort the Hextol young people put into the work, we will try to look after it.
Thank you for all your advice I will try to follow it and keep the area working and creating amazing habitats for the wildlife.”
Wilderness Schooling is a local programme run by North East Wellbeing and is available to any school to work with the staff and students to not only teach them about using the outdoors as classrooms and inspiration for learning. To find out more about this organisation check out their website. http://www.wilderness-schooling.co.uk/
This just one of the many projects our gardening teams in Newcastle and Hexham have been working on recently.
The Newcastle gardeners have also moved into new premises at Nuns Moor Park in Fenham. The space has a toilet, locked equipment store and a communal meeting room for the team and is a huge improvement on their previous base. This will set up the team perfectly for the next stage of their development.