Earlier this year I was invited to design a woodland / wildlife garden for a local infant school.
The school has a good-sized playing field alongside the playground and they had already planted a corner of the field with mixed tree saplings, but wanted help to develop it as a wildlife area with trails and study spaces which could be used as an educational resource, but which would also be fun for the children.
My design includes a variety of habitats - scrub & hedgerow, trees with underplanted storeys of shrubs and perennials, a sunken bog area alongside a raised pond with a pebble beach, and adjacent wildflower meadow areas. There's also a living willow tunnel, a green-roofed shelter and we intend to include nesting boxes for birds, bats, hedgehogs, bees, lacewings and ladybirds.
After completing and agreeing the concept design with the school, I structured the project into self-contained stages - each of which has an incremental, usable result, within a limited budget.
I'm very pleased to say that the school's fundraising efforts have been progressing well and the school "Friends" committee has approved starting work on the first 2 stages early in the new year. We're hoping that volunteers from amongst the community will take on some of the physical work - which will not only save costs but give everyone involved a sense of ownership and pride in the end result.
The "Friends" group is a registered charity and organises events throughout the year to raise funds for projects at the school. They also liaise with businesses who may be willing to give donations or sponsorship. If you are in a position to help, please contact me and I'll be very pleased to introduce you to the school.