Sibford pupils take on work on the wild side

The Orchard Project
The Orchard Project

Parents and governors at a primary school have become working conservationists in a bid to provide a fascinating study area for the pupils.

Hardworking staff from a local landscaping firm have cleared overgrowth and debris in The Orchard Project at Sibford Gower Primary School.

Some of the pupils enjoy the big step forward  the project represents

Some of the pupils enjoy the big step forward the project represents

Mum Amanda Ransom said: “The Orchard Project is a wildlife conservation area and woodland walk which parents and governors have created on an overgrown orchard next to the school playground.

“Governor and parent volunteers have spent the past few weeks creating pathways and steps within the orchard so that the children can move around the site to study animals, bugs and birds without disturbing their habitats.

“Bug houses, bird boxes and dead wood piles are being introduced and more natural habitats are being planted in the form of wild flowers, native trees and shrubs to provide food and shelter.”

Head teacher Jane O’Sullivan said: “The school owns the orchard but it was quite inhospitable and there were nettles all the way up to our fence.

“The work has revealed the beautiful view beyond and when it’s finished it’s going to be really stunning.”

Jane O’Sullivan, headteacher

“The work has revealed the beautiful view beyond and when it’s finished it’s going to be really stunning.

“It is a brilliant opportunity for an outdoor learning area for the school.” An expert in the village came in to prune the apple and plum trees, which have had their fruit harvested and sold by pupils in the past to raise money for school funds.

Landscapers dug paths and edged them and the avenues have been surfaced with bark giving pupils a safe passage through the orchard.

Wild flower plugs have been ordered and children will help with planting them to produce a summer display.

MHBG-12-03-15 Orchard Project 3 NNL-150903-103510001

MHBG-12-03-15 Orchard Project 3 NNL-150903-103510001

Youngsters are now looking forward to some specially designed lessons that will take them into the newly created wildlife study area which will soon see rapid plant and leaf growth with a huge increase in insects, birds and other creatures.

MHBG-12-03-15 Orchard Project 5 NNL-150903-103846001

MHBG-12-03-15 Orchard Project 5 NNL-150903-103846001

MHBG-12-03-15 Orchard Project 5 NNL-150903-104105001

MHBG-12-03-15 Orchard Project 5 NNL-150903-104105001