Willows Primary School has had a nature area at the end of the school field for a number of years, which is a fantastic resource for learning. Unfortunately, as trees have grown, access for the children became difficult and the layout meant that maintenance could not easily be carried out as can be seen in in the photographs below.
We were invited to design and implement changes to improve the access to enable the children to use it to it’s full potential as a valuable learning resource.
Involvement from children in the school was a key part of this project, so year 5 Pupils helped to remove some of the trees to allow a path to be installed.
We couldn’t let all the wood we cut down go to waste, so made some frames to use in learning back in the classroom.
Whilst the children were on holiday in the summer, we worked with local contractors to improve the site by installing a path, new pond dipping platform and all weather outdoor classroom. We also cleared the invasive vegetation to make way for new planting and reprofiled the edges of the existing pond to make access for children and wildlife easier.
In the Autumn, we planted native shrubs, along with a few smaller growing trees to extend the woodland and improve the mix of species in the remaining trees. This exposed large amounts of accumulated litter, so we finished off with a litter pick. Over the next few years, this will develop further into a valuable space for learning which should also be simple and straightforward to maintain.