Warfield School's environmental area was intended to provide a habitat for native flora and fauna, to allow study in a natural environment. Over the years the site had become very overgrown and virtually unusable with the growth of invasive ground cover plant species. The existing pond was leaking and congested. Large conifers had shaded out many beneficial woodland species in the copse area.
The design for the area was developed in consultation with the school. It includes a native hedge, wildflower meadow and redesign of the pond, incorporating a natural 'bog' garden. The woodland itself is revived by thinning the existing dense conifers to allow planting of additional deciduous native trees, and under-story planting of native woodland species. The work has been done by local volunteers (including teachers, parents and pupils). The development of this site is ongoing, and progress to date includes:-
Large areas of the site have been cleared, by hand, of brambles and invasive weeds.
Selected conifers have been felled from the woodland area.
The pond was redesigned, rebuilt, re-filled and restocked with native aquatic species.
A local garden centre donated a number of shrubs that have been planted to provide a “wildlife corridor” from the woodland area to the pond.
The native hedge was planted using bare-root whips.
600 wildflower plugs were used to augment the existing wildflower meadow area.
The area surrounding the pond is now linked to the copse, allowing access for wildlife. The wildflower meadow is now rich in native species with the flowers attracting many beneficial insects. The children are now able to use the area for pond dipping and other environmental activities across the curriculum.